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Yoga for mums

Posted Oct 22 2008 4:26pm
Mums are always juggling so many tasks. Take me for example, I am caught yawning at the most inappropriate of moments all the time. This could only mean one thing – that I have too much to do and very little time to rest. However, my yoga practice provides plenty of comfort to me. It helps me above all to cultivate a harmonious relationship with my children despite all that goes on with me through each day. Being a mother is never easy. It’s a constant challenge to not just be a mother, but to be a good one too, whatever your own definition of that is.

This is where yoga can certainly help.

You can start with a little bit of this and a little bit of that, as they say. If you have the possibility to step on your mat, then get going with asana and cap it off with shavasan and finally a few minutes of pranayama. If not, then split your yoga practice into batches of 10 minutes and do two or three such rounds everyday. Early in the morning, while you are waiting for your tea water to boil, do a few asana in the standing position. The palm tree pose and the swaying palm tree pose are the most famous. Even trikonasana (or the standing triangle) is a great one to do while just waiting…

Try some visualizations with your eyes open. Or try observing your thoughts as they arise, with awareness on your breath, while giving your baby a bath. I mean, it may sound preposterous, but it really isn’t that absurd. Keep an open mind. You never know what you will find.

Cutting veggies or doing the dishes is a great avenue for meditation. You may just as well observe the colors of the vegetables you are cutting. Your food should have five colors anyway. Or better still watch your breath while cleaning up after cooking.

Between all these yogic antics, try a ten-minute body awareness trip where you just sit on the couch with your child most probably jumping all over you. Never mind, close your eyes and feel those little jabs from those little elbows and run your mind along your body, feeling each and every part.

In the evening, when you are ready to fall asleep at the most untimely hour, try and sneak your mat out. Of course, if that is not an option, then sit on the floor and stretch your muscles lightly. You could also bring out your mat and bring another one for the kids to sit on and play. That sometimes works for me. But since those occasions are few and far between, I will have to rely on my spontaneous creativity to get done with my practice.

I have tried almost every trick in the book. Success is an elusive word anyway. So I don’t bank on any of it working for me. But if I do manage to stay awake after the kids are asleep, then I can do yoga. At nine in the night sometimes, but it’s worth it. Another ten minutes on the mat couldn’t hurt. If nothing else, you will go to bed with a clear conscience – you did try to resurrect your yoga practice after all. I mean, what could be worse than a dying yoga practice? A dead one, with no hope of redemption, perhaps.
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