Finding your practice while being a busy mom
Yoga has been a staple in my life for almost ten years. I found my practice when I was in college at Michigan State University--I used it primarily as a form of physical fitness, a way to create healthier choices and more consistency in my life. If you could press a fast forward button to almost three years ago - I became a first time mother to a healthy baby girl, added another puppy to our mix & then our sweet pandemic baby arrived. The last few years have definitely flipped my world upside down. From becoming a new mom to my experience as a small business owner of a “forgotten industry” in this pandemic, I was encouraged to find myself again and explore my yoga differently--but in a new way. I have learned alot about myself & found growth in new ways--through the highest of highs and some of the lowest lows.
Without my yoga practice, I would not have been able to have experienced two magical, healthy home births (blog post for another day!). I would not feel confident in my body (even if I do not look exactly how I used to). I would not be able to pause - to find my breath- in the moments of frustration & chaos.
My practice now definitely looks different than it did before my babies. To my surprise I actually do feel stronger (maybe that’s what happens when you're carrying babies & toddlers all day - OR - I put forth an extra effort on my mat because I’m not sure when I will make it back to it again!). The biggest difference, however, is that I am able to spend less on my mat. Do I miss my alone time, in my sacred space? The answer is YES. At times all I want to do is be alone on my yoga mat for hours in the hot room, with no schedule, bedtime routines or nursing sessions to race back to. YES, there are times that I want nothing more than to wake up in peace, in my own timing. I would love to get back to the morning ritual of morning meditation/mindfulness practice followed by an uninterrupted shower & cup of tea. I honestly do love spending time with my babies, so maybe I don’t mean “all the time”...I know that time truly does FLY BY. But I also know that to be the best version of myself for them, I do need to spend some productive time alone--time on my mat where I can fill my own cup, & be as PRESENT as I can be, for them.
Now the question is HOW do I do that???? How do I make the time to get to my yoga mat everyday? It’s easier said than done, that's for sure. As the owner of a yoga studio, I have to use a lot of my “free time” to do the “behind the scenes'' work, which includes spending time on the computer along with general studio & building maintenance and upkeep. I also squeeze in time to plan classes that I am teaching for the week. Let’s be real--sometimes it doesn’t happen until the day of class! Of course there are also house chores & mothering two little ones under two years old! Many days, my physical practice gets put on the back burner.
In this season of my life, I am not able to practice physically everyday. And I have arrived at a place where I can accept that for right now. But, how can I make a commitment to get back to it? My first blog post has become a great opportunity to re-commit to myself & find my new way of getting to the mat every day. I know that every day won’t be easy. I can’t expect my practice to look anything specific on any given day, but simply getting to my mat for a small amount of time out of my day will be better than nothing at all.
Ok mamas who’s joining me?!
Different ways to for a busy mom to fit her yoga practice in:
1. Wake up before the household.
Find your mat & even if it is just 15 minute practice at home. Or if you make it to the studio-- even better!!! Hellooooo 6:30am yoga! With the virtual options that studios now offer, this is possible --whether you take live classes or use one of our YC On-Demand options (link it here)
2. Lean on your support system.
Sometimes it’s hard to ask for a hand. If you have family nearby or a friend who is willing to watch your little one while you sneak away to hit a quick class, do it! Asking is the hardest part, but you will be so glad you did.
3. Try a virtual class.
If anything really great came out of the pandemic, it was the ability to take yoga classes live virtually or on-demand with your favorite instructor(s), or new ones that you have been meaning to try class with. This really is a great option when you can’t leave your home. Even if it is not the practice or environment that you are used to, it is still a practice. EVEN if you have to stop to feed a baby, or have a toddler crawling over your back, it is still time on your mat.
4. Carve out time in your day or week.
Whether it's 5 minutes or 90 minutes! Each day is going to be different. With consistency & when you make your practice a priority, it will become easier to find those slower times of the day when you can fit it in - nap times are a blessing!
5. Involve your kids.
Your children are always watching you! If they see you practicing yoga--doing sun salutations in your living room while they watch Mickey Mouse, eventually they will want to join in & be like mom! Let them practice simple poses with you or read a children’s yoga book together. Try taking a “Little Yogi & Me” class at the studio - even though this class is primarily designed for the kids, Ms Mindy will still get the mommas sweating!
6. Childcare at the studio.
This is an option that hasn’t made its way back to the Haslett location yet, but it was a great option for busy moms prior to the pandemic. Is this something that we should bring back to the studio? With enough interest, we can make it happen. It’s been brought back on the radar lately & I think we can start to explore the option again. If you think you could and would take advantage of a child care program 1 or 2 mornings per week, let me know!!
What has worked for you to practice as a busy mama? Share your ideas with the other parents who might need some encouragement!!