I used to measure my life by productivity, how much I could accomplish in a day. Seriously, give me four hours, a cup of searing hot coffee, and watch me work. In that time, I’m cranking out writing, developing classes, planning retreats, and checking in on email. I might even be able to get a 30 minute walk in or a quick yoga practice. Then, I’ll break and do it all again perhaps this time with teaching a few yoga classes, holding private sessions, and/or attending meetings. You catch my drift?
Enter new mama-hood. And, BAM. That went out the window. I really thought that while the baby napped or played in his pack & play (we don’t even have one of those), I’d be able to work on letters or make up class flows or strategize for teacher training. Welllll...no. First of all, our baby has gone through phases where he must be held, must be completely rocked to sleep, and he apparently has a case of FOMO, because kiddo isn’t into long stretches of napping right now.
You guys. I hate to admit this, but I will. Sometimes, I get so frustrated. On the days when I’m with him, I want to read books and sing (because everything in my life is a song now) and go for long walks with the Moby wrap, but even on those days...I still feel this desire to write. I still like to read. I still want to eek out a teensy bit of yoga because it makes me feel better. So, the other day as I was getting little man to sleep and attempting to keep him in nap mode with continued rocking for 45+ minutes, I cried. I wanted to be so present with this beautiful, funny, curious human, but I also felt like I wasn’t getting anything done. Not work. Not the dishes. Not the laundry. Not anything.
And, then it hit me. There’s a difference between doing the yoga and being the yoga. This practice that I believe in so much isn’t about the doing. It’s not about measuring your productivity or how much you can achieve and accomplish in a day. It’s not about how fast you can move in those moments where the baby is content or sleeping. No. This practice is about being, not doing. How can I continue to live yoga, rather than just do yoga? How can I forget about “feeling productive” and instead learn to interact with every moment? How can I sacrifice the former “me” times of life and devote them to another being who so dearly needs me?
This lesson is a hard one. Last week, we talked about our reasons for practicing yoga and that yoga goes so much further than the physical. So, I guess this is mine. Yoga reminds me that life isn’t about doing. It’s about being, to know that I can find happiness and contentment and worthiness without action or achievement. It’s a reminder to do less, to slow down, and to be more present in my life as it is. It’s about continued acceptance and surrender and love.
I encourage you to think about this - Are you doing yoga? Or are you being yoga? Are you taking these lessons we learn within the four corners of our yoga mat into your life as it is right now? It’s my commitment to remember this letter whenever I find moments of frustration as a new mama, to turn the clock around as I rock the baby for the umpteenth hour, and to remember that this is a phase...one that an older, wiser Leanne probably wouldn’t want to rush.
With love to you, dears, and Happy Thanksgiving!