I cannot believe it has been a year since I wrote my first blog post for Spira Yoga! So much has changed since then and I have been a bit delinquent with my writings. Becoming a parent has been one of the greatest, most awesome challenges of my life. Recently my 19-year-old sister moved in with us to help care for my daughter so I could go back to work full time in the ICU at the Veterans Administration here in Seattle. My husband and I went from a family of just the two of us to a family of four literally overnight – including an infant and a teenager. Life is full right now, but it is beautiful. I am tired but totally in love.
There have been some rough moments; caring for an infant has quite the steep learning curve and the sleep deprivation does interesting things to brain function. Getting back to my yoga practice and teaching were a lot harder than I ever imagined although I practiced regularly up to the week before having Dylan. My body has definitely shifted; things are ……how can I say… different? I am just now finding my core after nine months. I have come to truly appreciate my practice and find so much solace in the 60 minutes of a flow class. Prioritizing time for myself is somewhat difficult, but I have never once regretted going to a yoga class! (well maybe when Dylan screamed bloody murder at her dad for 90 minutes and I didn’t have my phone…) She is now screaming less and time with her dad by themselves is important. Time for me is also important; going to yoga becomes a win-win!
Having a consistent yoga practice for over 15 years, the last four of which have been consistently at Spira, has been instrumental in helping me prepare for the parenthood journey. There are many challenges and unanticipated stressors that occur with raising a child, especially during the infant stage. What yoga has shown me is the value of the present moment despite the 50 million other things going on in my head. Because time is relative and fleeting, life is very short and Dylan will only be a baby for a brief period. She will most likely be my only child and I want to be aware and present. Practicing mindfulness also helps me to let go of the notion that I need to be a “perfect mom”. Our society perpetuates this pressure; so much of parenting is about being aware, watching and listening with non-action especially in those trying moments. Knowing this does not make me passive or an escapist, I am just trying to make choices in my life with intention and clarity as a parent. For me yoga allows for mindful reflection, allowing space for my brain to be curious and thoughtful so I can function in modern life.
The physical practice and breath work is another added benefit and helps to target the post-partum hormonal balance and musculoskeletal aches that remain. Spira Yoga classes are specifically targeted toward the development of mindfulness and awareness. This practice has been shown to help individuals develop coping skills, enhancing resilience and improving overall quality of life. As a working mother, the fact that Spira offers a assortment of classes with varying intensities, length, and teaching styles allows me to find the perfect practice for my needs.
Developing a home yoga practice has also become a priority and now that Dora offer’s podcasts I can practice with Spira even when I am not physically at the studio.
Though I can’t always be in the yoga studio, the concepts of yoga stay with me especially the concept of mindful living, creating peace and balance. As we move into the New Year I can’t help but reflect on what an amazing year this has been. Having Dylan has changed my life, I can’t wait for what’s to come and watching her grow and learn has been such a gift.