No, I haven’t seen the light.
Not that one at least.
I have seen the one in my kid’s bedroom an hour and a half after he was supposed to be asleep. The one that makes my skin crawl thinking about having to drag him out of bed for school in the morning.
Or do you mean the bright red that flashes in front of me when I see the mess they made.. the crunched up Rice Krispie skating rink that has become my kitchen: on the ONE day (and I do mean one) that I actually mopped the floor.
I need to take a deep breath and count to ten when this stuff goes down. And even then. I still end up screaming half the time. Even though it’s not the best parenting technique.
But I have a tool. A secret weapon. I have a little something up my sleeve. To keep me grounded. To keep me from completely losing my shit. From becoming a total control freak in a world where there is NO chance at control. Not for another 14-18 years.
I have yoga.
Good old hippie dippie yoga.
Downward dog. Deep inhale. Fancy handstand. Watch me put my feet behind my head.
OK maybe not quite that.
More of just a space in my life, my home, and my body where I can slow down and where I actually HAVE to slow down to get better.
I’ve always lived by the belief that more is more is more. That the more I can do – and the faster I can do it – the better I will be. The more success I will come into.
But that’s not how life works. Not at this stage at least. Not with 3 kids. Not changing diapers, making multiple meals at a time, folding stacks of laundry and trying to turn these little brats into halfway decent people before it’s too late.
I need to be able to do less. I need a place where I can stop. Where I have no responsibility. Where I’m only in charge of slowing down and being quiet.
That’s not part of motherhood. That’s something else. And it’s something I want in my life, to balance out all the other shit that I have to do day in and day out.
But people seem to think yoga is for a certain type of people. People with cool as a cucumber attitudes and long braided hair. People with bendy limbs and open minds. People who are totally “zen”. People who are one with the universe, and full of love.
Sure those people do Yoga, I’m sure they do lots of things..
but Yoga is made for people like me. And you.
It is for moms who don’t know when to say no. It is for moms who don’t know how to slow the fuck down and the let the dishes wait for morning, cause there’s always more coming. It’s for the hobbyist who can’t let her hands or heart be idle and is always taking on a new project, whether it’s a person or a quilt. It’s for the fidgety, over caffeinated and under appreciated mom who has done more than her share for longer than she should but doesn’t need recognition because she just loves to do. And do more and more.
That’s who yoga exists for. Not for the people who already have it all figured out. It’s for us, who are grasping at straws to find some way to chill the fuck out so we stop screaming at our kids for the tiniest of misstep cause we just haven’t have a moment to breathe for “I don’t know how long”.
Yoga can take us down a notch.
Teach us to breathe. Even if it is just for a few minutes a day.
Let us just focus on our bodies – and NO not on the way they look – the way they feel and what they have done and can do and continue to do for us on a daily basis.
We need more of that. And that’s what yoga is all about.
Sure I can do tricks. Handstands and flexiblity feats and often more. But that’s not the role it plays in my life. At least not right now. It’s the basics. The simplest of movements that take just enough concentration to get me out of my head and into my body.
I can’t convince you in 1000 words to do yoga. I can try, and believe me I am trying. But I know how yoga seems. Like something trendy, cute, and for other people. But it’s not. I promise. It’s for you.
To prove that, I’m sharing with you my 3 go-to poses that I use when the world just gets to be too much. Or if I only have a few minutes. Or if I want to calm down my kids. Okay they’re good for everything. Try these. I’m not asking that much of you. Just try.
Downward Facing Dog:
Begin on hands and knees. Your hands should be directly under your shoulders, and your knees directly under your hips. Engage the core, tuck the toes under and leading with the tailbone push the hips up toward the ceiling. Spread your fingers wide. Engage the arms and shoulders. Draw the shoulder blades down the back and the shoulders away from the ears. Focus on sending the hips upward, the sit bones pointing toward the sky. Straight legs and heels touching the ground are not the most important part of this pose. Pedal the heels one at a time toward the floor to increase flexibility. Stay here for 5 full breaths.
Upward Facing Dog:
From lying on your stomach, place the hands under the shoulders, with the elbows tucked close to the body. Press into the mat, using the arms to lift the upper body and extend the spine. Open heart, spreading the chest and lifting the gaze toward the sky. Draw the shoulders down and back, away from the ears and down the back body. The hips press toward the floor, the glutes are relaxed. The tops of legs and feet press into the mat. Stay here for 5 full breaths.
Begin kneeling. Depending on your level of flexibility, add a cushion or rolled blanket in between the buttocks and heels for support. On an exhale, lower the upper body toward the floor while walking the hands slowly out in front of you. With arms outstretched, allow the forehead to rest on the mat and the belly to rest on the thighs. Breathe deeply, allowing the muscles of the back to release and relax.
Once you’ve tried these, I know you’ll feel instant relief. From whatever has ailed you, physically or mentally today. I know this. Because it’s the surest form of therapy I’ve ever used.
I don’t just do Yoga. I like to lift heavy, get sweaty, and do a huge variety of workouts. I don’t like to get bored.
I use Yoga in combination with the other types of exercise and selfcare, in order to balance the ways that I use and abuse my body. This is the way I give back and say thanks to my body for holding me together day after day.
That’s why it’s such a big part of my online coaching club – the Better Fit Sisterhood. It’s important to me that the moms I coach don’t just get ripped – or get their “body back” – that’s not what I’m about. I want the women I coach to be the strongest, healthiest, happiest, highest functioning versions of themselves. And that means learning how to slow down as much as it does to get their hearts racing with an intense HIIT workout.
It works for me, and it has for years, and now that I’ve figured out how to balance exercise, Yoga, and #momlife, I’ve turned it into my online coaching club. And you have the opportunity right now to join us. You can join the Better Fit Sisterhood today. Registration is only open for a limited time so grab your spot before it’s too late.
And if all you do is try these three poses, or even one of them, then I have done my part in sharing with you how I learned to slow the fuck down and enjoy my life and my body. To show a little appreciation and respect for all the bits and parts that get us through this intense and sometimes terrifyingly fast paced stage of life: called motherhood.
I coach moms because I love motherhood, because I want to enjoy it, not just suffer through it. And now that I know how to do that, I get to share with you. So thank you, from the bottom of my hippy yoga heart. And remember, yoga is NOT for chill people. It’s for the freaks like us.