The Intersection of Yoga and Parenting

DownwardDog-300I love yoga. I don’t do it enough, but I still love it! Yesterday I was at a delicious yoga class at The Little Yoga Studio deeply immersed in sweat and downward dogs, when my mind started to wander. I cherish the time when I give myself the space for my mind to wander -it doesn’t happen a lot these days. All at once the words that yoga instructors have said over the years started to accumulate in my head. They came flooding in. It started with the yoga instructor telling us about her decision to bring Joy back into her life. Joy. Joy? Joy’s honorable. We all want to feel joy, right?

I was joyful, in between praying with all my being that this was not a class that was over 1 hour and wondering how I was going to ask my friend Wendy this question since she seemed to in the moment and engaged any time I glanced over to see if there was an iota of an opening to ask my very important question. It was hot in there, I was seriously sweating, I hadn’t been to yoga in a few weeks, and I know my body sort of turns off after an hour of yoga. I guess I was panicking a bit. I forgot at first how much more than exercise I get every time I am on my mat. But here were all these thoughts about ways of being that were floating around my head.

Back to the intersection of yoga and parenting. The words of past yoga teachers flooded in and it occurred to me how yoga informs parenting. And vice versa. But at this point with a pre-teen boy and a pre-pre-teen boy in my house I was really appreciating how yoga could support me.  I need some support. Some of the words of wisdom that were ringing though my head about how the essence of yoga cold support parenting include:

  • Be kind to yourself. If you need to take a break just take child’s pose or let your family know you need a break [even for a moment just go outside] and accept that it is okay to not be perfect.
  • If you wobble, it’s okay. Think tree pose and life. We will all wobble. It’s okay. Be accepting.
  • Look for joy. We are given many opportunities to find joy in our lives we just need to let them in. Don’t take life too seriously. 
  • Find ease [smile] even when it is tough. It’s not where we stand in times of comfort and convenience, but rather in times of difficulty and hardship that matter! [paraphrase of the MLK quote] Think of how this could transform the act of getting out the door in the morning.
  • Be thankful. Appreciate that you are here on your yoga mat. It’s okay to do something good for yourself. 

There are so many more wise words I have heard and wish to live by, but these are a few of the ways that yoga and parenting intersect.

Add to the conversation. What are the ways you see yoga and parenting intersecting and informing each other? I would love to hear from this amazing, yoga loving community!

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