Are there things you enjoyed doing before having kids that have taken a back burner since becoming a parent? For me, one of those things was going to yoga class. There is a studio close to my house that I attended regularly, even throughout both of my pregnancies. Fun fact about me: I was at a prenatal yoga class the night before I had my daughter, less than 24 hours before she was born, without a single clue that I would be welcoming my baby girl three weeks early the very next day.
In the over three years since she was born, I have attended some yoga classes but not regularly. I attempted doing a mommy-baby stroller fit yoga class the summer while on maternity leave but unfortunately the timing of the class coincided with her nap time, and while I tried to make it work I often ended up not going, or suffered through it with a screaming baby (a not-so-fun fact: my daughter did not like napping in the stroller). Not an enjoyable experience to say the least.
Before returning back to work, and for a short period of time, I switched from yoga to attending Pilates class and was only able to do that weekly because my mom watched my daughter for me. I tried to continue making it to my Pilates class after going back to work, but balancing work and home life were challenging enough and slowly I found myself going less and less until I finally stopped altogether. I knew I was going to have to put yoga and Pilates on hold while I adjusted to life as a full time working mom of two young children.
It’s been nearly two years since making that decision. During that time I have considered trying to see if I could do yoga on my own at home, but I find it very hard to get focused with my two little ones around. Even if I can get in a room alone, I still find myself getting distracted and not able to focus. Often I find my mind races through the many things that need to be done around the house. But usually, it’s the kids that preoccupy me. If it’s not the sounds of my kids playing or fighting depending on their moods, it’s the scattering of toys everywhere or just my kids’ things being generally strewn about that gets me distracted. (Seriously, there is not a single room in my house that does not have something belonging to my kids in it! Clothes, toys, books…they’ve taken over every single room. But more on that in another post!)
More and more lately I have found myself missing my yoga practice. There’s something about going to that studio and getting in the dimly lit room that calms me. I find I can easily quiet my mind and relax my body. And so I decided it was time to finally get back to the mat! Last week I went to a yoga class one evening and while I felt a bit rusty, and experienced some mild difficulty with some poses, it felt great to be back there again! I was able to quiet my mind, focus on my breath and found a calming rhythm as I flowed through the poses. I left the studio feeling peaceful and relaxed, yet with a bit of excitement to be reuniting with yoga again.
Years ago I started practicing yoga when I was looking for a way to find calm and peace at a time in my life that I was very stressed out. Not only did I find that yoga brought me the calm and peace I was looking for, but I also found great joy in my practice, as well as discovering the physical, emotional and mental strength it brought me. Yoga also proved to be a powerful resource for me to use during my labour and delivery with my daughter. I am very happy to have taken that first step years ago on my yoga journey, and that I have returned to it again.