So last night, I laid out my mat and I. Did. Yoga.
This has been attempted before, unsuccessfully. Mat down, body ready and… baby wakes up pretty much immediately, whether she’s been down for 10 minutes or 45 minutes.
Well yesterday I had a visit with my dear friend and fellow yoga teacher Sam, who delivered her son 6 weeks before Leelu was born. It was nice to have the adult stimulation as well as see the babies interact (so cute!). But what was really great was being able to talk about our bodies and how lack of yoga and physical baby stress has really taken a toll. Yes, I can tell my husband how my lower back aches from changing diapers or how my shoulders are caving from breastfeeding, but Sam is going through the same thing. She understands.
We talked about our complete lack of practice, how the disappointment sets in not just in the body but in the mind. How we want to lay out our mat but there are laundry, dishes, bathrooms to clean. How we are often too tired/exhausted even though we know that our lack of yoga leads to being more tired/exhausted. And lastly, how we, as yoga teachers, need a yoga teacher. This last one is vital because it takes us past our ego. We need to exit our homes for an hour and a half and be told what to do. And it’s okay. Because we need to do what it takes to get us back into our bodies.
Sam and I are similar in a lot of ways. And one of them is that we need someone to hold us accountable for our practice right now. And we’re going to be that for each other. We’ve decided to pick just one morning a week, leave the babies in the good hands of their daddys, grandmas, etc. and go take a yoga class together. Hoorah!
The excitement of the possibility is what probably led me to lay out my mat last night. I put the baby down for her nap, grabbed a VHS yoga tape that I used to do more than a decade ago and popped it in the VCR (yep, I still have one). The music started and instantly I remembered how much I loved this video. Erich Shifman’s calming voice, the back drop of the white sand dunes, the yoga models tranquil clothing colors… weird right? That the colors of their clothes would take me back and put me in that place. Watch it, you’ll see.
My presence was still only half way there. Daisy was on one couch doing geometry homework, the cat was rubbing up against my leg, and my gaze kept floating back to the baby on the other couch to make sure she was breathing (crazy mother thing). And yes, the baby did wake up only about 25 minutes in, but that 25 minutes…
I felt the space of my body. The first uttanasana, a little discouraging, bent knees, aching back. But by the 5th round or so, my body’s memory took over. Lengthen here, spread here, sink in there. Ah, yes. And moving into trikonasana, my favorite pose, there was that initial shock that I had to leave my bottom hand on my upper thigh. My upper thigh! But there is my breath. I am reaching skyward. I am moving into the vast space that is my body. Oh to just be there in that moment and find sweet contentment replacing the disappointment and discouragement. Yes, Brandi. That is yoga. Remember now?
And when Leelu began to stir, I was not upset or aggravated. I was grateful. I was love.