Life tends to happen though, other things began to take priority, and yoga fell to a back burner (of which I have THOUSANDS!). Never forgotten. I always returned to yoga in times of stress, heartbreak, and basically anything catastrophic.
Like most mothers I know, I was not big on self-care. A daily yoga practice seemed like luxury to me. Time wasted on myself when I should have been cleaning, cooking, or whatever motherly/wifely thing I thought should have taken precedence over my own wants.
One day a mind shift happened. Yoga was more than just a quick fix for my anxiety, help me get out of my own head for a while, or security blanket for when I needed to crawl back to the surface and face daylight again.
I NEEDED YOGA.
Not only does yoga have the power to do all of those mini miracles for me, but daily yoga is more than just a series of movements. Somewhere along the line, I had forgotten that. Yoga shouldn't feel bad though, I have forgotten myself many many many times.
My body LOVES yoga. The deep stretches, the connection to the earth (I practice both indoors and out), and even the spiritual connection I am blessed with makes my body feel better. I feel 50 feet tall when I am outside reaching for the sky next to my trees. My body gains strength, flexibility, muscle tone, and even weight loss (which isn't so much a goal as a perk at this point).
What I have learned over the years is that yoga is not just a physical practice for me. It helps me understand my emotions and process them. I connect better with those around me, family, friends, and even strangers when I practice daily.
My techie teenager rolls his eyes at me because I am "such a hippie mom!". He's not wrong. I am very bohemian in ways, but I am who I am and I embrace that. He does too when he's not being "too cool for all that stuff".
My daily practice has spread like wild fire through our house. The youngest is always dragging out the mat, learning a new pose, or randomly meditating in bizarre places (Like while balancing on my Mother's back yard swing railing). The husband has started up a yoga practice of his own. We spend time each night doing yoga together with our kid(s) AND animals... downward dog with a Pitbull and Chihuahua rolling around under us is rather hilarious. My husband and I have even begun practicing Acroyoga!! Talk about working through trust and body issues! I am no twig, I am amazed at the strength my husband possesses. Seriously!
Eventually, I would like to get to a point where we go to classes together, but for now, I am just happy that he practices with me at home. For some reason I was very hesitant to even bring up practicing yoga together with him. I should not have been, we talk about everything. A part of me was scared of rejection or being laughed at. Yes, even after knowing him for 16+ years, being together for 9 of them, and married for almost 3, I am still afraid of rejection. How insane is that!?
Yoga is intimate to me. Sharing something that is so important to me with the possibility of rejection IS SCARY. I never used to pull my mat out if he was home. I'm no size 0, my poses aren't perfect, the list goes on and on. It all came down to fear.
One day I was oogling some beautiful acroyoga and wistfully dreaming that that could be us. I must have been sighing or something because he leaned over to see what I was looking at. He looked intrigued so I explained what was going on. At the end of my explanation it happened.... word vomit. I told him how I wished that we could work up to that one day and I really wanted to have a shared practice with him. He went back to whatever he was doing and there I sat, stewing in embarrassment. A few torturous moments later he nodded and said to his screen, "We could do that".
It's been a really slow beginning, his muscles are super tight, but it's fun. We enjoy the time together. All because I couldn't stop myself from talking. I took the risk, whether or not I was ready to and it paid off in the best possible way!
Moral of the story, don't be afraid of who you are. If the people around you love you, they will accept you. If they don't, no matter how hard it is...find new people. Put your vibe out there at full strength and your people may even find you. Don't dampen who you are just to fit into the tiny box of who someone else thinks you should be. It all comes down to love and acceptance. Love yourself. Accept who you are wholeheartedly.