I’ll admit my first introduction to mind/body classes was a fusion class called Body Flow created by Les Mills. I loved the music (they play modern top 40 music) and I loved that as the name implies it was a continuous flow of movement.
On the other hand, the first time I tried a real yoga class, I kinda didn’t like it. Honestly, I found it too slow. And what do you mean there was no music only the sound of wind blowing and birds chirping? As a 20 something, that certainly was NOT my jam.
Years later, I’m reminded of all those feelings I had each time a brand new student steps into my classroom. You know them (and “them” may be you). The student that just has to move in between poses in some way. The student that must fidget in savasana.
This is not a judgment, because I certainly WAS that student.
In our modern mom life, we feel like we are supposed to keep going non-stop. More than that we actually feel like we’re being lazy and unproductive when we are not actively engaged in cleaning the house, making a meal, running a child to school or doing our own professional work.
And so, when we finally get on our mats and our Yoga Teacher asks us to slow down. To find stillness between active postures. Or, God forbid, to HOLD a posture longer than one or two breaths, we have an internal FREAK OUT fest!
“What the hell am I supposed to DO, while I’m still?”
“OMG, my thighs are burning holding this damn pose for ONE. MORE. BREATH!”
In short, we can’t wait to get out of the, slow, quiet stillness that our Teacher is wanting us to cultivate!
This can’t just be me right?
But here’s the thing lovely mama.
The challenge on your mat is NOT in getting into the handstand, or bird of paradise or beautiful arm balance.
The real challenge is BEING in those poses and feeling the emotions and thoughts that rise up! Being in that plank pose for 8 whole breaths, while your abs are burning, and your shoulders have just about had it, and BREATHING into it and allowing yourself to see all those stories that come up that say “you’re weak you can’t do this” and calling BS on them.
The badassedness comes when you can hold that “challenge” pose and still calm your nervous system so much that your body thinks its sitting on a beach, soaking up the sun on an 80 degree day!
That is the power of challenging ourselves on our mats!
It teaches us, in a relatively safe and controlled environment, to manage the stress in our lives. Because long plank holds are stress. And crow pose is stress. And handstands, hecks yeah, they’re stress!
And when you can learn the tools to manage your stress on your mat, and NOT run the hell out the door when things get really tough, then you can do anything.
All of a sudden, that teething baby that won’t let you sleep a full 2 hours is not such a challenge, because you’ve practiced dealing with stress.
That tweenage girl who huffs and rolls her big beautiful brown eyes at you just for saying “hi”, is not such a challenge because you’ve practiced dealing with stress.
Are you picking up what I’m laying down here mama? I know you are!
So as you move through your busy, sometimes stressful week,, come back to these ideas. Don’t take a pass on crow, or handstands in class because you think that you can’t do them so why try.
Instead grab your mat, and go for it anyway. Know that they serve a higher purpose. And practice becoming the low stress #EnergizedMama you know you already are!
Here’s to a particularly low stress week mama!