I had my son when I was 38. Overnight my earnest, long-standing yoga practice flew out the window. I could barely find time to take a shower let alone practice yoga.
I would try to sneak in a few breaths of meditation while breastfeeding, but usually I managed only to nod off in my big squishy recliner. In the first few months of his life I got as far as putting on clean clothes and cooking once in a while – but practicing yoga? That was a memory rapidly evaporating into the akashic plane.
Thankfully parenting gets easier.
Babies grow and eventually I found my way back to my practice. But it was not the same. And I had to figure out how to adapt to this new reality and be happy with less.
When he was about 3, my front brain had come back online enough to figure out a few things – he wanted me with him when he was falling asleep at night and I realized it might be a chance to regularly meditate again. My husband and I would read him stories, play instruments and sing some kirtan and then – lights out – it was the perfect time to meditate while he drifted off. And it was nice to share that contemplative time with my husband.
That was a huge step toward getting my practice back.
Now my son is 15 and he probably wouldn’t approve of my saying this but occasionally, he asks my husband and I to meditate in his room as he’s falling asleep. Aw. . . still my baby.
As for asana practice, when he was little, that was even trickier. He loved to commandeer my practice by climbing up on my back while I was trying to do cobra, locust or bow. It was fun. But also a little frustrating. I started to feel guilty – here I was a yoga teacher and I was having a really hard time finding the time, space, energy and will to practice. Here I was a mom feeling frustrated with my adorable son who just wanted attention. Can’t win for losing!
So one day I made myself a deal.
I decided to do some habit hacking and set the bar really, super, stupidly low – just one pose a day. I could do that.
I could do tree pose while I brushed my teeth. I could do apanasana in bed. I could do yoga mudra while supervising endless Thomas the Train excursions on the living room floor.
As my son grew, mothering got easier – but life didn’t really slow down.
It has a funny way of keeping you on your toes.
So I have carried on with my #oneposeaday mantra, even now.
If I can get myself to do one pose a day, chances are, I will actually do a lot more. My yoga mat sits unrolled, beckoning, all I have to do is lie down on it and commit to one pose. Often, the practice works its own magic and I do a lot more.
I’ve shared my one pose a day plan with lots of my busy students and many say that it works really well for them too.
So I invite you to give it a try. Better yet, post a pic of yourself on FB or Insta with #oneposeaday and tag me! I’d love to see what your practice looks like.