For the past 2 weeks we’ve been teaching at Bikram Yoga Vernon, helping out our friend, Dionne, who just had a baby a couple of months ago. Seeing the office turned baby room reminds me of when we opened Bikram Yoga Red Deer when Arjuna was only 6 weeks old and we spent more time at the yoga studio than we did at home.
Dionne and I chatted about the difficulty of being a new Mom, wife, a yoga teacher, yoga practitioner and business owner, and keeping all of these elements in balance. I think that some people assume that because we’re yoga teachers, balance comes naturally to us. But that’s not the case; we struggle to create harmony amidst the chaos of competing responsibilities in life just like everyone else.
One of the aspects that new Moms, and all parents for that matter, struggle with is maintaining a yoga practice. Society tells us that we should be satisfied to just stay home, snuggle with baby, change diapers, and do laundry. And there’s nothing wrong with any of these responsibilities. But in my experience, coping with baby brain, fatigue, imbalanced hormones and even post-partum depression, is way easier the more I can maintain my yoga practice. Even though it may seem like we don’t have time to practice, taking class helps me to fulfill my other responsibilities much more efficiently. Instead of taking up minutes in my day, yoga helps create more time.
When we use the excuse of not having enough time for a yoga practice, we're really saying that our self-care is not as much of a priority as our other responsibilities. Motherhood can be a very challenging time to take care of ourselves. Mothers are taught to put everything and everyone ahead of themselves. But the truth is, we’re much better mothers, wives, friends, and business people when we’re practicing yoga on a regular basis. This is the best way I know how to take good care of myself so that I can be a more patient mother to my kids, a more loving and good-natured wife, and a more creative, energetic entrepreneur. As yoga teachers, it goes without saying that we need to practice what we preach to our students about making time for ourselves, but we’re also teaching our children to prioritize their own health and wellbeing. We can talk to our children about the importance of mindful eating and exercise but leading by example is so much more powerful.
Living in such a small space with my family where every square inch can seem contentious, it’s so important for me to be on my mat and have my own physical, mental, and emotional space. This can open up the space for me to focus on my own issues, or simply to allow everything to melt away temporarily. As soon as we arrived in Victoria after our drive from Vernon, my first priority was to get to Bikram Yoga Westshore and take class! Although taking yoga class can seem like taking time away from kids, family and work, I know that creating the time and space for my personal practice is going to significantly increase the entire family’s happiness and the longevity of this new nomadic lifestyle we’ve embarked on.