Friday, February 22, 2008

Yoga of Motherhood

When I was pregnant I thought a lot about yoga beyond asana, especially in the final trimester when my practice was mostly Baddha Konasana and pranayama. Frankly, asana is the easy part. Once you start to realize the opportunities for greater awareness and appreciation in the activities of your every day life (Yoga of Teaching, Yoga of Blogging, etc), you realize almost everything can become a practice if you decide to be engaged and respectful. It certainly makes everything count (see Jon Kabat-Zinn's practice of Mindfulness).

I have two sons, 3 1/2 years and 6 months old. They are the loves of my life (after their dad) and--I'll tell ya--the hardest yoga exercise I've ever done. There is so much about motherhood that you have to practice vairagya (non-attachment) with, but one of the biggest things you have to let go of is your feelings about time. Everything is going too fast or not going fast enough.

The baby is about to retire his car seat-basket and move into an upright chair--no more grocery shopping or going out for lunch while he sleeps. And he just had his first bite of sweet potato tonite. So I get excited to see him turn into a little kid and sit up straight and use a spoon. But I get wistful when I clean off the old car seat and get ready to put it away forever or imagine the day when breast milk is no longer his main source of nutrition. I can't wait until he sleeps through the nite (oh Lord, I can't wait), but I love letting him nap in my lap.

I felt much the same way with his older brother, although I was pretty sure I would get a second chance to celebrate all these developmental milestones with kid #2.

So I try to enjoy the process as it unfolds and not wish away any of difficult parts of their childhood. Or mourn the passing of the sweet babyish habits that fade with each new month. It is very hard and challenging but, as I've been saying, I'm not dead yet so I must be stronger.

In retrospect, Side-Plank, never seemed easier.


Michelle said...

You know Brenda, one never can tell what life will bring. I am 42 years old. I have three grown daughters, 25,23 and 22 and lo and behold, now I have a 4 year old daughter. Same husband as the first. It is true, time flies and goes so slowly that you find yourself thinking in the future or about the past. Good lesson in mindfulness.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, I appreciate your words.