Wednesday, January 5, 2011

How a Real Mom Does Yoga

It is afternoon, and the three-year-old is settled down in front of the tv for his alloted screen time. He has enough snacks and drink to last the hour, or so I hope. The baby is asleep in her swing. I pray she stays sleeping. (She is a newborn, a good sleeper, but you never know).

The lulu's are put on. The candle is lighted. The mat rolled out. The toddler beckons. I politely attend to his needs and remind him I am going to be doing yoga so I can't be readily available.

Inspiring music hits the airwaves. I can already feel my body soften. I start my ujjayi breath while kneeling over and picking up toys. With the space uncluttered just enough to exsist in my concentrated yoga bubble, I say a little prayer for help to stay focused on the task at hand. I only  have so much time...go, go go!

With divine power I hit the mat, trying to ignore the kitchen to my left where dishes are piling up, seemingly expanding exponentially each minute. Curling into child pose, arms extended, I draw deep breaths up my spine and into my back ribs.

Twentish minutes into the practice, the baby wakes up calls for my attention. With all the sun-salutes and vinyasas, I am thankful for the concentrated time I have had (while fighting  the compulsion to pick up that random piece of cereal on the floor). I try not to desire more time to practice. Desire creates attachment, I remind myself, and attachment leads to samsara.

I get the baby and place her on her pillow next to my mat. She remains pretty contented there, and I buy myself another 15 minutes. My practice now is less focused, but I am enjoying being able to get through some more poses.

Rushing into the closing poses, hoping to finish out the practice, the baby gets fussy. I pick her up and bounce her around, trying to settle her down, while attempting to keep my own mind calm. I put the baby down and manage one more pose, but without success. She needs me. I feed her and concentrate on the flow of my breath, in and out, in and out.

I remember the words my first teacher always spoke, "try to find a sense of peace and equanimity no matter what the challenge." Today my challenge is wanting to finish the practice I started. The energy was building, I was feeling so connected, but now it feels like it all went flop.

After feeding the baby, I blow out the candle, roll up my mat and turn off the music. No use trying to fight it. My practice is over. And that is okay. I am blessed with the riches of little spirits around. And with a smile I kiss my baby, knowing that tomorrow is another day.

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