When you become a parent, there are pieces of you that have to be placed on hold.
I used to wake up in the morning, turn on my Devi Prayer yoga music, roll out my mat and practice yoga for a solid 30 minutes, sometimes longer. And I always ended with a meditation – silent, peaceful, eyes closed, body still.
Now I’m a mom. But I still try to keep up my morning yoga practice. However, that yogi inside of me who loved her quiet mornings, full of stillness and contemplation, has been placed on hold. I’ve made room for a different kind of yogi – one whose down dog often includes a toddler crawling through her legs, whose mat is constantly being splattered with sand and water, whose eyes are never closed because they are constantly following a toddler around, and whose balance postures are frequently steamrolled. My Devi Prayer has been replaced by Old McDonald. Instead of ending my practice with Savasana, it usually ends with a request to build a tower out of blocks or color with crayons. My son interprets my upward facing dog as the perfect chance for a horsey ride. Backbends take a true act of courage. Inversions are slightly terrifying. Shoulder stand is practiced so cautiously. These are all some of my favorite postures, but having an energetic one year old running around, bouncing off of everything makes these poses a bit dangerous.
But I always roll out that second mat right next to mine. We reach for the trees together and fold forward to touch our toes together. I get to practice tree pose with a buddy, holding hands. I get kisses during malasana and smiles when I come out of my inversions. My son climbs all over me while I’m practicing, so i suppose I'm still working on my balance, strength and focus...just a little bit differently than before. And truly nothing cultivates the practice of seeking inner peace better than Old McDonald on repeat for the fifteenth time that morning.
One day I’ll return to my quiet, tranquil morning yoga practice. But today wasn’t that day and tomorrow won’t be either. I don’t know when that day will come, but it will come. Instead of finding frustration in what I’ve had to put on hold, I’ve decided to embrace it, to find beauty in the new yogi I’ve become, to love the moments of chaos and imbalance, and to enjoy my little unpredictable yoga buddy entirely.
The truth is, this applies to so many parts of life as a mom, both on and off the mat.