I had someone tell me earlier this month “I went on maternity leave from yoga when you went on maternity leave.”  We both got a good chuckle out of this comment, but ultimately, she was admitting to me that she had let her practice slip through the cracks.  And the thing is, she could tell in her life and in the way she felt that she hadn’t been practicing.  I told her I went on maternity leave 5 months ago, and that it was now time for her to start practicing consistently once again.  She did one of the hardest things and took the first step to getting back on track and honoring herself so she could begin to feel better once again.

It’s been 6 months now since Scout joined our family, and for those of you who haven’t had a baby in your house for a while or ever, I’ll remind you that adjusting to life is tough.  Add to that a 2 year old, and it can be almost impossible to do anything outside of caring for their needs directly.  This has been a hard realization for me.

I’m a “doer.”

The list of things I want to get done in a day is always longer than the waking hours of the day.  And my day currently begins around 4:45 AM and ends around 9 PM with at least 1 waking in the middle of the night to nurse.  So you would think I’d have plenty of time to accomplish whatever I needed to accomplish especially when I’m home most of the day.  But wait, remember that infant and 2 year old I have?  If you have kids think back to how dependent little people are on the big people who raise them.  If you can’t remember or haven’t had this experience, I’ll remind you that it’s pretty much complete dependence for everything—feeding, napping, diaper changing, going to bed, getting dressed, putting shoes on, brushing teeth, getting drinks, bathing, buckling into car seats…you get it.

It’s not impossible to run a business with 2 young children under the age of 3; many parents do it and are very successful at it, but it is very challenging.  And things I would like to do and achieve just don’t get done because of the priorities I listed above…and because I’m tired.  Add to it the pressure I put on myself to return to and maintain my personal Adamantine® Yoga practice, and it’s no wonder I still get flare-ups of extreme tension in my arms, shoulders, and neck.  I’m trying to do it all.  To “carry” everything as though nothing has changed.

But it has.

It’s time I start accepting this and sharing this out loud because I’m guessing many of you struggle with or have struggled with life transitions at some point

The adjustment has actually been really hard for me, and I’m grateful for all of you who have continued to support my studio and me through this transition and as I try to figure out the best balance for my family.  Over the past month I’ve been able to get more help with the kids by having them spend longer days in day care (they only go to day care 1/2 of the month), which is beginning to allow me to create more calm in my life and get more fulfillment from the work I do as a yoga teacher and business owner once again {thus the return of the blog}.  I’ve had to enlist the assistance of others for outside advice and perspective to help me come up with solutions to get through this difficult time, because when you’re tired beyond belief, you just don’t always think clearly.  And I’ve even been called on some things by my own yoga teacher that were off in my personal practice since returning to a more mainstream practice after pregnancy.

Every time you step on the mat yoga asks you to find your edge on that day in each posture and the practice as a whole. It is different from day to day if you really pay attention to the sensations in your body.  It’s the same in life.  The challenge becomes knowing when to push just a little harder and when to allow yourself grace.  Just like in yoga if you’re too forceful, it can be detrimental and potentially cause injury, but if you’re too lackadaisical, you’ll never grow as a person and improve.

This is part of the mental battle I’ve been fighting the past 5 months.

Different personalities require a different overall balance of these 2 elements, and I would say more often than not, I need to intentionally invite more grace into my own personal outlook.  I’ll be the first to admit that I can be a little intense and regimented about things.  I guess that’s why throwing another baby into the mix has been so hard for me.  I have no control over the needs and timing of the things that this little person requires.

Sometimes in life and on the mat we can’t manage these trials by ourselves and need to invite others to offer their support and guidance.  As a yoga teacher, personal trainer, wellness coach and fitness instructor, I’ve helped countless others do this for years and continue to try to inspire this mindfulness each day at Guided Self-Practice. But in my own life it’s often harder for me to see the forest through the trees.

The objective viewpoint of another can guide us similarly to how yoga influences us.  The present-moment awareness that comes from seeking your edge each day in yoga gives you the chance to confront what’s most difficult for you in life and move beyond those shortcomings to find your own balance of strength & grace.

photo by Adalily Photography

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