When my son was born five and a half years ago, life changed. That little man came flying into our lives and the roller coaster that was his first two years of life had a profound impact on our little family. Where my daughter had been so easy, he proved to be a challenge. He was sick and rarely slept. Life was insane and hard.
About six months in I realized I needed to do something or it wasn't going to be pretty. My nerves were shot, my emotions were a wreck, and my overall health was suffering. I had flirted with yoga for well over a decade at that point but it was time to get serious. So I reluctantly drug my mat into the middle of my kitchen and my journey began. I have been asked, how did you do it with a two year old and a six month old? Well, it was hard but each day I unrolled my mat and started again.
Through the past five years during my yoga practice I have been crawled on, screamed at, puked on, and during some cat and cow pose series, ridden like a horsey. My children have attempted some rousing games of "London Bridge" while I held down dog. They have "decorated me to make me more pretty" while I held a precarious half moon pose. I have had to stop five minutes in because little man was just not having it.
My three dogs thought the kids were having too much fun so they joined in as well. Licked faces are common. Stepping back to find a pile of puppies that magically appeared is just not a surprise. Our new kitten now loves to attack my pony tail on any inverted position. It is good times.
I have also had the joy and privileged to guide my children through their first asanas when they wanted to,"do yoga with mommy". My precious old guy pup,now 15, often seeks the peace of my practice and curls up to sleep right beside my mat. Many of my savasanas have been accomplished with a warm, quiet toddler or preschooler draped immobile across my body. "I can hear your heart mommy. It is beautiful.", whispered to me in a reverent tone.
My yoga is my life. I try to live it on and off the mat. The truth is the world is not going to stop. It will not ease up with its demands and distractions as we find our inner peace. No, we must learn to find that inner calm, that equinimity, within the maelstrom of life. My kitchen yoga practice has taught me these lessons well.
There were many days I was frustrated. Could I please just get a few minutes of peace and quiet so I can do this???? How am I supposed to learn with all these distractions??? Well, now I understand the distractions were the lesson. All of these crazy and often hilarious situations has taught me great focus and determination. Learning to laugh at myself and humility were included for free. It has taught me to get up, unroll my mat, and start my practice fresh each day.