I Heart Yoga

Almost two years ago, when Mark was three and Jake was almost two, I wasn’t in the best of shape. I was thin, but not happy thin. I was tired all the time, my legs with their myriad swollen varicose veins were constantly aching, and at one point I missed my period for two months (and I wasn’t pregnant). If I ever went out without the children it would be after their bedtime, and then only for short periods of time. I was a bit of a wreck. I cried a lot.

My ever-supportive husband was after me to do something for myself, something, anything, but he was working very long hours at the time so I was limited as to what I could do. I could not stand the idea of exercising at a gym with the kids in the filthy, germ-infested child care room, but I did think I had to start doing some sort of physical activity. I decided to attend an Ashtanga yoga class at a studio near my home, once a week. Now, almost two years later, I practice yoga every weekday morning at 5:30.

The usual reaction to that fact is “5:30? Are you crazy?” but I find the early mornings are beautiful, it isn’t difficult to get up anymore, and if I miss a practice I really regret it later in the day. That time to myself is like a little gift every morning.

Last week when my husband was out of town, we all had little colds, and I missed three practices. The kids were clingy, I was impatient, and I kind of felt like the type of person who complains all the time. Like, anytime I spoke with anyone, I felt like I was just constantly complaining – the weather, the colds, the absent husband. But then this weekend was a yoga workshop that I had been planning to attend for a couple of months. I was slightly worried about leaving the kids for SO LONG (Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday for the majority of the day). I worried about their meals, their activities, and of course, it was all for nothing – they had a great time with their dad.

The thing is, after having a bad week, and then practically an entire weekend to myself, practicing yoga, I feel like an entirely different person. And what I really wanted to say in this post is that in order to be a good mom, sometimes you need to be away from the kids – not necessarily to do yoga, but to do something that you love. All of those new-baby books remind you not to forget to take care of yourself, and it’s so true. Even if it’s only an hour a week, you really need to take some time for just yourself. It will make you a better mother and a happier person.

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