Before I loved running or boot camp or lifting weights, I loved yoga. I practiced almost every day. My mat came with me everywhere I went, and my body and mind felt supremely healthy. I was a living, breathing yogini. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way I lost my connection to the practice. Maybe it was the time crunch I experienced after having a baby? 90 minute classes seemed quite indulgent. Or maybe it was the mild agitation I felt when inexperienced, 20 something instructors wanted to preach to me about quieting the mind and balancing chakras? What did they know about quieting a mother’s mind?! OR maybe it was the fact that I was in a mad rush to get my body back after 9 months of pregnancy? I was in need of heart-pumping calorie burn on a daily basis. So it seemed that motherhood steered me away from the yoga practice for some time…until recently.
First, it was the need my body felt for the asanas. Running, jumping, and lifting day in and day out was putting too much strain on my body. I felt an ache here and tightness there. My range of motion and posture began to suffer. For a while I just assumed I was getting old. Then I thought, “Meghan, you need to show your body a little TLC!” So I put down the weights and gave my long lost love another chance. Good move! I was challenged and pampered all in one sweaty workout. I felt my shoulders loosen and my hips unwind. I noticed my smaller muscle groups engaging in ways I had not felt in my daily strength workouts. My core was working the WHOLE time. My entire being was integrated again, and it felt AMAZING!
What was the next hurdle I had to cross in order to make it back to my mat? Getting myself to an actual class… Most days I realistically don’t have 90 minutes plus to devote to yoga! When I did, I felt guilty leaving my family for so long because doing a little yoga didn’t seem like a priority. And even if I did make it to whatever random class happened to fit into my schedule, would I spend half the time judging the poor instructor? I know, not very “yoga-like” to be judging anyone, and a fellow instructor no less.
I decided “let go” of any expectations… of time, of judgment, of my guilt or frustration, and just enjoy the moments I had on my mat. So what if I can only fit in a 20 minute session at home surrounded my toddler toys? It is better than nothing! So what if I make it to class and the teacher spends half the time chanting? At least have made it to a class. So what if the situation is not perfect? I don’t need perfect. I just need to do some yoga! After accepting that, I have found it much easier to incorporate the practice into my life again, and body and mind are reaping the benefits.
I may not be the living, breathing yogini I thought I was pre-baby. But I feel strong, limber, grounded and most importantly, happy.