Good evening my friends! I’m so excited to share my first ever guest blogger! Remember that expert-guided detox that I did? Well, I have the pleasure of knowing that expert personally. Her name is April, and she is awesome. She continually posts relevant information that I’m able to apply in all facets of life, and I thought it would be fun to have her share about her passions over here in my community. What better place to talk about fitness and parenting?!
7 THINGS YOGA TAUGHT ME ABOUT MOTHERHOOD
by April Norris
I have proudly worn my badge of motherhood for 6 years. I spend my days wrangling a vivacious, precocious daughter and a sensitive, headstrong son. I have been a certified Pilates Instructor for 7 years and most recently added amateur yogi to my resume. After struggling for many years with anxiety, depression, and chronic exhaustion, my naturopathic doctor encouraged me to start a restorative yoga practice. I now savor my “mommy time-outs” and have also learned some invaluable lessons about motherhood along the way.
1. LIFE IS A PROCESS
You can’t force your body to do a posture in yoga. It’s against the very essence of the philosophy. Occasionally, gentle nudging is fine; challenging yourself to reach the next level is healthy. But your body will rebel with a strain or injury if you push too hard. Children know their limits; you can’t make them to do something they don’t want to do. Lovingly guide your kids to grow outside of their comfort zone. Pushing, forcing, or demanding them to do things will only build resentment and anger.
2. ALL YOU HAVE IS NOW
Our minds are constantly living in future tense: What will I make for dinner? What will I wear tomorrow? Who will be at my 20-year class reunion? If you don’t disengage your mind while practicing yoga, you’ll miss the boat on a mental vacation. If you constantly think about your children’s future (Full-ride scholarship? Will he make the little league team? Where will they go to high school?), you will discount who they are in this moment. Cherish their budding, joyful personalities, because this season of life won’t last long.
3. HONOR SUCCESSES
When you finally conquer Revolved Half Moon posture, or were able to meditate in Shavasana without getting distracted, commend yourself! A personal achievement, no matter how big or small, deserves recognition. Your children need to be acknowledged for their accomplishments as well. Whether they pick up their toys without being asked, not fighting with their sibling for a record-breaking 20 minutes, or completed a stellar art project, it all deserves to be appreciated with love.
4. RESEPCT YOUR BODY
My mental dialogue in yoga usually goes like this: “Look at my muffin top”, “Ghaw, my arms are so flabby”, “That gal has better legs”… You would never speak like that to your child! Speak to yourself how a loving parent would. I have noticed a mental shift after starting my yoga practice. I am beginning to love my body as a gift, what it can do, how it moves… it is incredibly liberating. When you speak love to yourself, you speak love to others.
5. HAVE FUN!
Yoga should be enjoyable exercise. Fall flat on your face from Flying Piegon pose? Whoops! Laugh at yourself and jump back into it. Don’t be a poker-faced yogi that takes themselves and their practice too seriously. That’s bad juju to share with others. I find that too many adults approach parenthood the same way. Don’t get me wrong, having kids is demanding, stressful, and important business. But what does a solemn attitude about life teach our children? All work, no play? Take time to roll around, tickle your kids, dance wildly in the living room, make silly faces, take selfies. It’s good for your cortisol levels and will deepen your relationship with your children. Give them happy, joyful memories of their parents and their childhood.
6. IT WILL BE UNCOMFORTABLE
My least favorite position in yoga is chair pose. Sitting down in an invisible chair with your arms straight up next to your ears, knees bent, shoulders back, chest forward, eyes up, toes back, and deep breathing… Fuhgeddaboutdit. Parenting is the same way. Implementing discipline is not fun. Telling your daughter for the 18,528th time THAT DAY that she needs to pay attention when you’re speaking to her will try.your.patience. Having your 4 year old son finger paint your cupboards with almond butter will make you sprout gray hairs quicker than you can yell “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?”. But all these tricky situations make you a better parent. Just as that dreaded chair pose (ugh) makes you a better yogi.
Listen to your body, it knows you best. Listen to your inner voice, it will guide you down the proper path. Listen to one another, you will learn something new. Listen to your children, they impart wisdom on your soul.
April Norris is a board Certified Holistic Health Consultant (AADP), Certified Pilates Instructor (BASI), hot yoga enthusiast, dancer, artist, devoted student of natural health, and a mother of two. April is passionate about helping clients eliminate food sensitivities and optimizing digestion, lighting the way to a life full of vitality. She provides workshops, teleclasses, seasonal detoxes, small group programs, and individual nutrition counseling. Look her up on www.optimalvitalitywellness.com, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.