Becoming Flexible - a reflection of motherhood thus far
I quite like routine, I function quite well within it’s safe predictable boundaries. Before I had children I would have reflected on myself as simply being well structured and disciplined; I was lean, fit and healthy. In reality however, although I have always been very understanding and compassionate with others, I was can be quite ridged and inflexible within myself. I waisted a great deal of time stressing over having a perfect diet and what impact missing an evening of training would have on my fitness levels.
It was during my pregnancy with my first born that I really began to look deeply to Yoga for guidance, stability and ‘flexibility’. It was amazing, and for the first time showed me that I had spent much of my life in a rajasic/goal orientated state. When we are in this space we spend our lives chasing the next achievement and often miss enjoying what is happening right now. After Stella was born I adjusted well to new motherhood, and although she was not an ‘easy’ baby I brought into play much of what I had learned through practice and adjusted my expectations of what I could get done and when and how much time I would have to keep myself in shape (mentally and physically).
Stella was about 15 months old when I became pregnant with my second; there is almost exactly 2 years between them. Again, I revelled in pregnancy and truly enjoyed the experience, although felt more fatigue as a result of chasing a not quite 2 year old around. Fortunately for me, my second child was a significantly more content baby then my first, because the adjustment from a family of 3 to 4 was massive test on just how ‘flexible’ I had become. Memories of my life before children became just that, a distant memory and pretty much any time to myself melted away.
Strangely it was while I was on maternity leave with two small souls in my care that I finally took it up on myself to start my Yoga Teacher Training (massive gratitude to my husband who made this possible), and as mad as it sounds, it was probably this commitment to learn and practice that guided me through the next 3 years of my life. My children's births seemed to be the birth of a completely new life for me, since there arrival earth side I have finally stepped outside my comfort zones. I have had to learn how to keep a flexible routine, as trying to keep to a tight routine aggravated any stress I was experiencing as much as throwing routine completely to the wind. My personal yoga practice became a nurturing night time activity and I learned (and am still learning) to accept that it would often be interrupted. A daily work out was by far the hardest thing for me to adjust my expectations of. The last 12 months, since our move to Murwillumbah, saw this regular activity whittle away until it had pretty much become null and void. Like a pendulum that swings from one extreme to the other, it’s complete removal from my life was not a good thing, and again I had to become flexible in what my idea of a workout was. Having always been something I used as ‘me time’ I needed to accept that if I was going to fit any kind of exercise in I was going to have to do it at home with the kids and be content if I managed 20min a few times in the week.
Yoga, and the Yoga of motherhood have been my steady in this time of change. I have by no means “worked it all out”, on the contrary, I am learning everyday. I often fall back into old habits and thought patterns that do nothing to help me, but I know that if I keep practicing, working on my ‘flexibility’, accepting that our experience of life is a fluid thing ever changing, I will keep getting better at being right here, right now.