There’s no denying the fact that motherhood is a very demanding job. On a daily basis, we balance our personal and professional lives while simultaneously juggling the responsibilities of chef, housekeeper, chauffeur, and loving spouse. The demands of motherhood alone are enough to make a grown woman cry (hormones don’t exactly make matters any better).
I’ve always thought myself to be a strong, independent, highly capable individual. In the past, I’ve prided myself with the ability to multitask and maintain a busy schedule, but motherhood has sent me to my knees many times. With all the chaos that this busy life has brought before me, I have found such comfort and release in my yoga practice (running has helped tremendously too). Just 30 minutes on the mat transforms me from grumpy, sleep deprived momster (mom + monster = momster) into blissful, energized, zen master. And in combination with my running, it helps keep me in tip top shape and also aids in the prevention of running related injuries.
I began my yoga practice a few years back, when I was unmarried and full of free time. I used to attend multiple classes and would even practice in my living room with a Yogaworks DVD. Once I became pregnant, I continued practicing and began doing prenatal yoga well into my third trimester (Did you know that prenatal instructors will even take time for Kegel exercises?). Prenatal yoga was a wonderful experience; it allowed me to embrace my growing belly, feel comfortable with my changing body and kept me aligned right up until the end of my pregnancy.
Once our darling daughter came into the world, life became more hectic and my yoga practice transformed into a way of coping with my new life. Everything began to change in my practice. I no longer wanted, but I needed my time on the mat; I yearned for it. After months of sleepless nights combined with the aches and pains of being a cesarean delivery, postnatal yoga brought me back to equilibrium, both mentally and physically. I even found a book dedicated to practicing with the itsy bitsy baby.
With all the demands that raising a child brought into my daily schedule, I haven’t been able to go to a studio or gym to connect with other yogis for my yoga practice. I definitely miss having the class setting. There’s just something about being in a room with other people doing the same asana (pose) that you are doing, breathing in that same pranayama (breath). Then there’s the feeling of synchronization when a whole room begins chaturanga (a drop down from a push up position). Even though I cannot have that same experience, my practice at home has allowed me to achieve a very centered and enlighten state even in the solitary of my back yard. SInce discovering it last year, I have fallen in love with the availability of the yogaglo community.
Yogaglo offers unlimited yoga classes that you can download onto your computer or iPad to use in the comfort of your own home. There are over 1,000 classes to choose from. You can search through their database for specific styles, length of duration, skill levels, teachers, or by the body parts on which you wish to focus. If you are interested and want to explore the website, a free 15 day trial is available. A membership only costs you $18 a month. Totally worth it in my personal opinion.
Now that my daughter is a little older, I am looking forward to becoming involved in a mommy and me yoga class. She has already attempted a few poses at home while watching me. It’s the cutest thing in the world to see her bent over in downward dog. She’s been a pro at happy baby since she was able to hold her head up.
Yoga is such a great way to connect and bond with your child too, not to mention the health benefits. It is a proven sleep aid for both mommy and baby and it helps with digestion and promotes stronger growth and development. All health benefits aside, I simply look forward to creating the bond of teaching her to practice yoga throughout her childhood and watching how it manifests in her life.
Do you use yoga in your athletic practices? Is there something else that you feel helps in coordination with your running (Crossfit, Pilates, Strength Training, etc….)?