It’s an interesting concept: to maintain a daily practice. Until now, I’ve never done anything consistently and/or with intent. I’ve also never had young children before. Doing daily yoga, meditation, praying, walking, or any number of rituals/practices, especially first thing in the morning, can help give you a sense of yourself for the unfolding day -- whether you will need rest or invigoration, reflection or stimulus; whether you are at peace or immersed in chaos. These practices provide you with the opportunity to reflect, revise and redo, even before the day has even begun. They help you maintain mindfulness and compassionate detachment.
I have practiced yoga for many years. Lately, I’ve been practicing it daily.
First thing in the morning (earlier than I'm used to awakening) allows for peace and quiet; scarce commodities for anyone with younger children.
Today, I started with Sun Salutations. I looked outside my bedroom window at the beautiful rising sun and the lush tapestry of green trees in my backyard. I gave thanks for it all before I rose up to the heavens. There, I thanked G-d , my spirit guides and ancestors and swept back down, touching my toes. Plank to Upward-Facing Dog helped me hug Mother Earth; Downward Facing Dog gave me pause to consider my tight hamstrings and focus on my feet. I again thanked Mother Earth for sustaining me and later reiterated this in Mountain Pose, feeling the solidity of the earth beneath me. This feeling is one of the most comforting experiences I know.
By the end of my routine – usually 20 or 40 minutes – I pretty much know what I can expect from myself during this day, and how I might approach it the easiest. I know whether I’m stiffer than usual, or more flexible; struggling more or moving with ease. While this doesn’t predetermine what will happen, it gives me some awfully good clues. It’s up to me to decide whether I want to listen to these messages and even more importantly, what I will do with them.
In my life as a new older mother, I am constantly grappling with methods to sustain me and help me rise above the ongoing chaos and turmoil of my children’s daily lives. There are days, and sometimes weeks, when my life clearly doesn’t feel like my own and my destiny feels much too out of control.
It is at these times when grasping for straws will not do. Only a method or practice can or will help you. So, next time you hear ear-piercing screams or are pulled by the hand to defend a sibling’s heinous crimes, think “Om” or whatever word works for you, and try rising above it all, remembering that centered feeling you had during your practice. Nothing will go away; it’s how you approach it that matters. It works every time.
Labels: children, cyma shapiro-roland, yoga