When most of us think about Hatha yoga, we think of rolling out a mat and maybe (attempting) to twist ourselves into a pretzel. While all of the physical exertion that we do in hatha yoga class is beneficial, there are so many deeper benefits to a regular practice.
There are infinitely MORE benefits to a regular yoga practice. I would even argue that hatha yoga can actually make you a “better” (read: more patient, more compassionate, more joyful) mom!
But first, in order to understand how yoga can make us moms better, we have to understand what Hatha Yoga really is.
Hatha is a Sanskrit (the traditional language of yoga) word that is a combination of two. “Ha” represents the masculine or solar energy. This is the energy of work, getting things done and assertiveness. “Tha” represents the feminine, lunar energy. This is the energy of rest, reflection and acceptance. Both of these energies are necessary for a balanced and whole life.
So when we practice hatha yoga, what we are really attempting to do is find a balance between work and rest, doing and being and assertiveness and acceptance.
In the yoga studio, on our mats, it is this balance that leads to a healthy strong and flexible body.
In our personal lives this delicate balance keeps us productive yet not over worked or overwhelmed. Wouldn’t it be nice NOT to be overwhelmed?! Supporting each other in keeping this delicate balance is one of the many things we do in our Yoga Mamas Facebook Group. Feel free to join that community by clicking here!
So how do we actually find that balance in every day life?
- For our physical bodies we make sure we schedule (and commit to) time for exercise and also schedule (and commit to) times where we don’t do strenuous exercise. This balance of activity and rest has been the secret of the best professional athletes for years. An easy way for you to fit in a reliable way to take care of your physical body is to get some yoga videos or downloads that you can use in the comfort of your own home (or anytime you want). I have several yoga video series that I created just to help busy moms bring a little peace back into their lives. Check them out here!
- For our mental bodies we schedule time to work (at our jobs) and time to truly be away from that work. No email checking or finishing projects outside of your scheduled work times and work spaces. This may be a bigger challenge if you work from home like I do. In that case (try) to make a schedule for yourself and stick to it. When inspiration comes outside of those schedule hours, write a quick note and return as quickly as you can back to your “non-work” life. If you work outside of the home, resist the urge to work through lunch. Actually use your lunch time to take a well deserved break and don’t forget leave work on time at the end of the day!
- For our spiritual bodies we schedule time to read or listen to uplifting messages. This could mean you attend church or other spiritual gatherings. It could also mean you read scriptures or other uplifting books and passages. Equally as important, we also need to schedule time to receive Divine guidance. This could mean committing to a contemplative prayer practice of the catholic tradition or a more general meditation practice.
The point is that all of Life and Nature is balanced. Summer balances winter. Night balances day. There is no good reason why we cannot take a cue from our natural environment and find ways to balance ourselves. After all, balance is the KEY to good health