Yoga and Motherhood

Yoga and Motherhood: 8 ways to make time for you and your mat
“I want to do yoga, but I have no free time”. This is a common complaint of mothers who want to fit yoga (or any other activity) into their life but don’t seem to manage. Motherhood is a very special period in a woman’s life. From the day a woman gives birth to her child she has to juggle multiple roles. Taking care of the children, house work and professional obligations – if she is a working mother – make leisure time seem a myth. Mothers become so devoted to taking care of others that they often forget to take care of themselves. Even those who were faithful practitioners find it hard to go back to their pre-child practice. And except for the lack of time, mothers also have to deal with psychological and mental fatigue. In reality yoga proves to be priceless for mothers, since it can help them get in touch with themselves, quiet the mind, find balance and –in the end- better fulfill the maternal role. But how can busy mums make that precious yoga time?
1. Make up your mind!
Like everything else in life, engaging in yoga is too a decision. Make up your mind and stick to the initial intention that brought you to that decision. Make a promise to yourself and create space –internally at first – to make it work. It can happen
(really!).

2. Organise your schedule. Set priorities (without guilt)!
Don’t wait for the ideal circumstances (i.e. for your kids to grow up a bit or become more independent etc.) to start your yoga practice. Create these circumstances yourself by planning our weekly schedule so that it can accommodate guilt-free yoga time. Mothers need to practice self-care, and this is a priority, since this is the only way they can then take care of others. Claim your yoga time. Your children (and your husband) will be grateful!

3. Ask for / Accept help.
A supportive husband can actively participate is a great help. However, if this is not the case you can ask or accept help by a relative or friend who could babysit while you are in yoga class. You could also get a nanny, if it is feasible. Reach out for help. And that’s perfectly ok.

4. Dusting can wait
.. and so can the laundry! House work never ends. Relax and skip the award of the perfect housewife. Some housework tasks can be postponed. It’s not going to harm anyone, not even the house itself! It’s been tested!
5. Yoga with kids
When going for yoga class or doing yoga at home alone is not an option try doing yoga with your kids! It is not going to be an ordinary class of course, but you are definitely going to have fun and discover other sides of yoga. Your children will also enjoy the time on the mat with you and feel that you share with them something that you love.

6. Combine kids’ activities with your yoga practice
When your children are in their English class you could be on you mat. Try to combine your schedule with your children’s schedule. It could work.

7. Practice at home.
If joining a yoga studio is not possible, try to establish practicing yoga at home. It definitely needs serious discipline but, if you have set you mind to it, there are many websites offering classes online that could help.

8. Just breathe
Some days practicing yoga may seem impossible. On thos days you can just relax and return to your breath. In the morning or just before bedtime close your eyes, find your breath and do some pranayama exercises. Sometimes this is enough.

The journey of motherhood, as beautiful as it is, comes with many difficulties and challenges. In reality yoga is connected to motherhood in a unique way. They are two paths of love. Two paths of connection. Two paths of truth. And remember that motherhood is yoga itself. It is a selfless act of love, daily and continuous. When you comfort your child you do yoga, when you cook the family meal you do yoga, when you take care of a sick child you do yoga, when you breastfeed you do yoga, when you read a goodnight story you do yoga…

Olga Flora
Trainee at the Anahata Studio Teachers Training Program
Proud mum of two little miracles, 5 and 3 years old