For the longest time, I wouldn’t do yoga unless I had a quiet corner to myself. Then I gloriously became a mom and my mat sat in the corner more because I refused to let go of my expectations of yoga. I wanted it to look and feel and be a certain things it had been in my past. I wanted long, sweaty sessions that pushed my mind and stilled my body. I wanted to be lead through a class, not lead myself.
When you’re working on a standing balance, arm balance or a pose that challenges you, the moment when you start to celebrate too much, worship the end (having it perfect) too much or forget to breathe in the pose, YOU LOSE IT. You’ll fall short. You’ll weaken. But when you loosely hold the idea, the dream, or the pose; you picture it in your mind, but it’s held loose with open, easy hands. THAT is when you’ll stick it and have a great chance to being present for longer. When your focus is steady, yet calm and undesperate, you’re able to weather wobbles, slight adjustments, or quivering muscles. When your focus is calm, your balance follows. With a furrowed, intense brow; or a wandering eye, you. Will. Fall. You will come out of the pose. Of course, that’s fine. We like falling and trying once more in yoga. But it’s also liberating when you hit that sweet spot, that moment when you’re calm, focused, balanced and the stars align in your body for the pose that feels so right.
I love that my daughter comes to climb and crawl and pull and move with me when I do yoga once I finally let go of who yoga was “supposed” to be or do for me. I still love yoga in my own time, alone. However, I’m more and more happy to share 15 minutes of a practice with her. There is something silly, special and then sacred as I move through poses and she “chases” me. In plank, I hover over her as she crawls from under my head to under my feet. I open to side plank and she rolls over into the ground to gaze up at me and giggle. In forward fold, she peeks her head in between my legs from behind to spy on me breathing upside down. Child’s pose is her favorite I think, because with my shins under thighs, my torso resting on my thighs, and all that plus my forehead collapsing in a fetal-like position as the ground holds me, I hold her. She crawls into my back. Giggles. Falls off. Practices standing on me. Surfs. Giggles. Falls off. Her toes and fingers knead my lower back in a massage. Her 20 some pounds adds the right touch of pressure to help me really relax and sink deeper to the ground. We both love it.
While I did this pose, the view from INSIDE my body was beautiful. I felt radiant, glorious, strong, balanced, graceful, like I could hold it forever. I loved having her with me. I love the symbols of strength and incorporating all parts of what I love together. I love yoga in our new room. I love moving my 19-week pregnant body. I love that I could find my calm focus amidst the minion on my leg.
And then I looked at this photo & chuckled because my form isn’t great. I’m not standing as tall as I thought. My hair is kind of a wreck. There’s a lot someone could photoshop. But I won’t. I didn’t. Because even if it looks different on the outside, from the inside, the pose felt perfect and glorious. And I’ll choose to hold on to that memory and let go of any others.