At the beginning of the school year, my youngest came home with a drawing of our family, each member labelled with a description of their various occupations. He and his brother were described in terms of their scholastic levels (kindergarten and pre-kindergarten); our dog was described as being a big fluffy guard dog. Next to the largest two figures were the following labels: “Daddy goes to work” and “Mommy goes to yoga”.
While yoga is not my main occupation, it is a passion of mine. Every morning I wake at 5:00 and sleepily head to my beloved studio, the only studio in the city open at such an obscene hour. There are very few things that can get me out of bed so early; there are even fewer that can get me out of bed and in public, with no makeup and dirty hair no less.
Every morning I get up and I do my practice and then I face the rest of the day, the day that holds the little joys and the tedium and the various drudgeries experienced by a stay at home mom. After my children were born I did not do anything for myself for a few years. I rarely went out and when I did it was only briefly, and after the children were asleep. At the time my husband worked long hours while I was at home with two very small children, one a toddler, one a colicky infant. Suffice it to say that this was not a particularly happy time in my life. I was constantly exhausted, my back hurt from always carrying at least one child around, and my legs ached from swollen, inflamed varicose veins.
It sounds trite to say “and then I tried yoga and everything got better”, but that is exactly what happened. When I first started three years ago I could hardly touch my toes; now I am able to achieve postures that I did not know were possible. In addition to physical well-being, the tenets of yoga have spilled over into my everyday life: I’m much more patient, more positive, and, of course, happier.
My early morning practice is a gift I give myself every day, and I am a better person because of it. Yoga has given me balance; in my body and in my life.