Good news! There IS time for yoga! It may be a little different than you want or expect, but yoga is there for you, and there is time. I’ve recently been doing what I call a 5x5x5 practice. I love it!
In the postpartum days I was devastated that I couldn’t return to my regular yoga practice either out at a studio or an hour at home, because my time was so broken and the demands were incessant. Every 10 minutes I would be doing SOMETHING- changing a diaper, nursing a cluster-feeding baby, holding her because it was the only thing to keep her from fussing, stuck on the couch for two hours while she napped on me, or a variety of other baby-related needs.
I was convinced there wasn’t enough time to do yoga.
Ahimsa- The practice of nonviolence/non-harming; a Yama (moral restraint) from Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.
“Of course I practice ahimsa!” I declared to myself years ago. I don’t hurt people, I’m a vegetarian, and I don’t have violent thoughts. Done.
But then I read something that added to and deepened the concept of ahimsa: "non-harming also means not hurting yourself."
What!? I don’t hurt myself! …Or do I?
As I considered this more profound interpretation, I slowly began to notice all the ways in which I, especially as a mother, cause myself harm. And the more I observed it in myself, the more I saw it entrenched in the mama community. Here are many of the feelings and thoughts I see in myself and other moms:
There are a lot of things I’d love to do and experience each day, and on this list is a full, hour-long yoga practice, but the reality is, it won’t and can’t happen right now. My practice has been whittled down drastically with the addition of a child, for a variety of reasons that you all understand.
This is OK, because I truly believe a 5 minute practice can be an exceptional yoga practice when done with full presence of mind, body, and soul.
So this is typically what I do each day. But regardless of how long I practice, there is one essential pose I aim to get into each and every day...
It was the very last thing I wanted to do-- surrender to motherhood.
Having a baby wasn’t going to change me or my life or my marriage or anything else. Having a baby was simply going to be an ADDITION to everything else I had in my life, because well... it was MY life. Right? And in MY life I was the one who had control. I had it all planned out. I’m sure my daughter, still in the womb, was laughing at my naiveté and arrogance. She was born fiercely into this world and all my “plans” came right out, too. With all of my motherhood expectations not being met and my former life gone I fell into a deep crevasse of what-the-f*#@-just-happened!?
What happened was the clichéd reality that strikes most new moms today: “a baby changes everything.” I was no exception...