In MOTHERHOOD, YOGA

Yoga is essential.

I’ve been saying this over and over to myself for the past 20 years.

Sometimes I hear it louder than others, but it’s like a heartbeat to me.

Yoga is essential.

Yoga is essential.

Yoga is essential.

It’s not just yoga, though.

Moving my body everyday is essential.

I recently had a conversation with my husband about this.

He told me that he struggles with doing any sort of movement practice at home because he finds it challenging to exercise or do yoga with our kids around.

“They’re always asking for things in the middle of my workout or interrupting me when I’m counting or just being distracting,” he told me. “That’s why I prefer to work out at the gym on base.”

“I know,” I said. 

The thing is, I have no choice. 

I can’t put it off or do it somewhere else.

Home is where I live and work and raise kids, which isn’t changing anytime soon thanks to this pandemic.

If I want to move, it’s going to be in the midst of a baby crawling around on the floor, trying to pull herself up to stand while I’m doing squats. 

Or I have to stop in the middle of a flow because my son yells from the bathroom, “mommy, I pooped.”

And often all 3 kids want to join me in some capacity, which is super distracting.

I still do it because moving my body everyday is essential.

There is no option to just go for a run or go take a yoga class outside of my house.

This is my option and it’s loud, messy, and crowded.

I think this is one of the things prevents a lot of people from doing yoga, even now that we have fewer options due to the pandemic.

We like our home yoga practices to look as pristine as that influencer on Instagram. Clean white walls, sunlight pouring in through huge windows, and a few large plants, artfully placed on either side of the yoga mat.

No one wants to do yoga in the middle of their kids playroom with the stains on the rug and windows that haven’t been cleaned since you bought the house.

So people opt out of yoga at home, which breaks my heart.

Unfortunately, yoga at the studio is no good right now, either.

While some yoga studios have opened up for public classes, class sizes are severely limited. And the science I’ve read says that yoga studios and gyms are 2 high risk places for transmission, no matter how far apart mats are or how much space you have between equipment.

Plus, while some studios are adhering to suggested guidelines, others are ignoring them completely.

You can read all about that in this blog that online yoga teacher, Jenni Rawlings put together from an informal survey she did in her Instagram stories.

Then there are the yoga studios and gyms which have closed permanently, because their businesses couldn’t survive.

This, too, is heartbreaking.

So here we are, unable to go to gyms and yoga studios, and still needing to move for the sake of our sanity.

Because daily movement is linked to all kinds of health benefits, both mental and physical.

This is a scientific fact and I can attest to the power of movement for healing beyond physical injuries or ailments.

Through all of the challenges I have faced in the past 20 years, the one constant, positive action that has consistently supported me, is movement.

Yoga, dance, walking in the woods, handstands, squats, running, climbing trees, swinging at the playground….all of it has benefitted my mental health, as much as my physical health.

Yoga is essential.

Moving my body everyday is essential.

And it’s also hard.

I know this as a mom of 3 kids who are super demanding of my time, my energy, my body, and my attention.

Getting on the mat at home has never been easier or more accessible and yet, it’s still a struggle for some. 

Why?

Because life is distracting.

It’s so much easier to make time for yourself when you have to physically leave your house. 

And it’s so much easier to make excuses when you have to stay at your house.

Recently there’s been this huge swell of interest in online yoga. My little online studio has grown a bit too and I’ve seen more people live during class when I’m teaching online.

I’ve also had almost as many people sign up and leave within the first month.

Usually they’ll say, “I just don’t have time for yoga, like I thought I would.” 

And I believe that.

I truly do.

Everyone has different circumstances and priorities.

I recognize that there is so much happening in the world right now that is out of our control and it’s scary and not everyone has job security or even a job.

Not everyone has good health, mental or physical.

I have had soul crushing days of solo parenting. Day when I feeling like the worst mom on the planet. I even occasionally believing my kids would be better off with Ms. Frizzle as mom instead of me.

She’s certainly better at homeschooling them than I am.

And I also know it would feel 100 times worse without my daily movement practice.

What has gotten me through the hardest times in my life has been yoga and movement.

Dancing and walking.

Squatting and shaking and stretching.

Jumping in puddles. Massaging my own muscles.

All of it is essential.

Moving my body everyday is essential.

Yoga is essential.

In that spirit, I am offering you a gift.

This is one of the 15-minute pre-recorded yoga practices that I created for my online yoga studio this month. 

Our theme is Savor the Flavor — really just a fancy way of saying: be present, be aware, be awake. The pose and myth of the month is Hanumanasana, which this class will build into.

It’s a fun, dynamic class that uses some less-typical yoga movements to warm you up for the main event.

I can’t force you to prioritize movement. That would defeat the purpose.

I can, however, offer you encouragement, support, and a few yoga classes along the way to make it easier.

If you want to join one of my online studios, you can use the code YOGASUPPORT to get your first month for free. If you are furloughed or completely out of work or hard hit financially by this crisis, I will extend your discount for as long as you need it. Meaning, you won’t have to pay until you can afford it.

Get weekly live classes with me in the Collective, plus a series of pre-recorded 15-20 minute yoga classes each month, a meditation, and a story to support our classes and theme.

Or simply get that monthly bundle of classes plus a live 60-minute class with me on the 3rd Saturday of every month, in LITE.

And for those who don’t want to join, but want to support me in giving the gift of yoga to those who need it, I am starting a scholarship fund.

I am currently giving about 25% of my online studio members full or partial discounts on their monthly membership.

If you would like to help me continue to provide these essential scholarships, please make a donation via venmo: https://venmo.com/Naomi-Gottlieb-Miller

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