Yoga ON the Mat
Before I had Bodie I practiced yoga almost daily. Some practices were hard and vigorous, while others were slow and restorative. Some practices long, and others short... but regardless, I made the time to get on my mat even when working long hours. I even practiced throughout my pregnancy all the way up until the day the little guy was born (btw that story is coming soon!)
But let me tell you, my practice has really gone to crap since that day. Before anyone freaks out or thinks I'm being tough with myself I want to state that this is just a fact. I'm not beating myself up, feeling guilty, or upset in any way. I've worked hard on yoga off the mat, and practicing non attachment to my physical practice, which is WAY harder than any advanced asana in my opinion.
With that said, I found that getting on my mat was much easier when Bodie was smaller. Once he got mobile it got harder and harder. And to top it all off, the last couple months have been so sporadic because frequently it comes down to the choice of yoga, work, or family time. That stresses me out, and I often feel guilty when I choose yoga.
Since my practice has gotten so irregular I feel it. I notice I'm more anxious and jittery. I have all this energy that can't be focused in a way that's beneficial. My mind is all over the place. I also feel tightness and pain in my body, especially my shoulders and upper back.
This has been a wake up call for me. After practicing for ten years, I forgot just how shitty I felt prior to adopting a yoga practice. I remember when I first started the practice thinking about how most people go around everyday unaware of how bad they feel... believing all the aches and pains and mental unrest are just normal wear and tear. The difference between having a physical practice and not having one is night and day, but you won't notice it unless you actually practice and can feel the difference.
The fact that I need to get on my mat 5-6 days a week has become clearer than ever, and I'm happy to say I've practiced for five days in a row already this week. I've chosen yoga over work and my family which sounds terrible in writing... but truthfuly, I'm so much happier and present with my family from the time on my mat that it's way better time together. I would go as far as to say I'm a better wife and mother when I get a practice in. I'm more patient. And when I work, I feel inspired and productive. I can think clearly. It's pretty awesome. I have fallen in love with asana (the physical part of yoga) all over again...
It's funny how it works because pregnancy and motherhood strengthened my off the mat practice (philosophy + lifestyle), and now my physical practice is even better because I see this all in a new light. It's not obsessive. I don't care how I look, or how advanced I am. It just feels so good to connect with my body and breathe. The back and shoulder tightness are gone.
I will continue getting on my mat every damn day, and I'm encouraging you right now to start a yoga practice today. It is truly one of the greatest gifts you will ever give yourself!
Happy Monday + with love!