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Why ALL Mamas Should Yoga

Next year will mark my 10th anniversary of becoming a yoga teacher.

While yoga isn't my only form of exercise, it has been a tool I have employed for over 15 years to compliment running and weight lifting, to help me control anxiety and stress, to relieve symptoms of PMS and exhaustion and, to generally feel good about life.

Yoga is my go-to travel exercise, was with me throughout pregnancy, and helps me contribute financially to my family.

Yoga is a friend- trusty, reliable and nourishing, that has been with me through my highs and lows, that I draw into when I'm seeking a solace only quiet can provide.

Yoga has allowed me to understand how to use my breath, to provide myself with calm, and has helped me draw my attention away in times of great stress so that I can avoid negative thought patterns.

While yes, yoga can be a slow thoughtful practice, I can also teach a class that will kick your ass in a cowboy second.

Above all else though, yoga has taught me more about myself than any other form of exercise. As a mom, the continuation of my practice allows me time to both think and set my thoughts aside. It challenges me to be intuitive and intentional. And, yoga allows to make space for myself.

I have used the tools I've learned over the past several years to make my parenting more wholehearted. While I encourage all of my clients to add yoga into their lives for many reasons I invite mamas specifically because yoga encourages the following

1.Awareness. (to your body and needs). And then, it encourages you to apply what you've heard. I used to push through everything; stress, pain, and even sickness. However, in taking the first few minutes of every practice to check-in I'm able to notice how I feel- mentally and physically, which in turn translates to how hard I'm going to push that day. This has not only changed my outlook in life but in every aspect of fitness. And, it helps during the day as a mom- am I going to work out while Ethan is napping or, will I nap too? What do I need right now, in this moment?

2. {lack of} Competition. When I was an avid runner, I used to compete with everyone. Footsteps behind me at the park meant I had someone to beat which sent my pace into high gear. However, as a student of yoga, we are so often reminded that what you do on your mat is entirely within. The person next to, or in front of you should not influence your practice or your internal dialogue. And guess what, it goes for parenting, too. The gal next to me on the park bench who has seemingly lost all of her baby weight... not my body, not my goals, not my genetics.

3. Breath work. When I worked in a more corporate environment I used to (more often) find myself at my desk feeling... heavy. And then I'd exhale, and remember that I had been holding my breath for what seemed like hours. Just a few deep breaths can change everything and when stress is high, focusing on breathe can change many an outcome. When the dog is being crazy or E is having a little meltdown and I'm about to lose my shit- I slow down and breathe. Three deep breaths can be the difference between losing my shit and loving my place.

4. Improved fitness. I have gotten stronger, increased my range of motion and bettered my balance throughout the course of my practice. While the increased range of motion speaks for itself I never imagined I would get as strong as I have. Many poses target the deep musculature that provide stabilization and lays the ground work for movement and, they can encourage muscle growth by adding resistance type exercise to your life. As a mama, yoga is primarily equipment free and easy to perform. There is no set up or break down. You can simply do, even without a mat.

5. Intention. We start our practices by setting an intention. And then we move throughout that practice holding onto that intention and moving with purpose. When we begin to live with intention we are easier able to let go of superficial and the worry, because there's a goal in sight. I have begun a practice of getting up in the morning and setting an intention for the day- whether it be just being present with E while we play, or I have an actual task to complete, I have found that moving through my day with intention makes me feel more purposeful in my actions.

While I could go on and on about the positive benefits of yoga, these are the themes I feel most often resonate with the mamas in my life.

If you'd like to practice yoga with me, join me on my YouTube channel where, every Wednesday, I post a new class geared towards the busy mama.

In addition, my Mindful Mama e-course opens this coming Tuesday, September 13. Although the self-paced course is only 7 days, it is is so much of what I needed to become centered and reflective of who I was showing up as.

Over the week’s lessons, we talk about taking care of ourselves, clearing away the perfectionist mindset, overcoming overwhelm, feeling productive and creating energy, creating an attitude of gratitude, and dealing with loneliness and then we pair these emotions with a short 5-8 minute yoga practice and some short introspective journaling.

And, it comes with free entry to an online group of mamas. Let me tell you- if you struggle to make time for yourself or, just don’t know how to focus on yourself, this course will help. Let me help you become a more Mindful Mama.

To read more, or sign up, check it out HERE!

Secondly, in October, I'm launching my online coaching club- the Mama Love Tribe. This group is a community focused around love- love for our body, mind and spirit as well as that of the mamas around us.You can find out more HERE!

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