I am by all accounts a Type A. High expectations for myself but also for those around me. Luckily a strong yoga practice has grounded me and I have learned to live with more love and less judgement. Off my mat. The struggle to let go of perfection on my mat however has proved to be a challenge. Finding my edge usually meant pushing my body deeper and further into a pose. Listening to my head (ego) and not my body has led to aches and pains and a nagging yoga injury that just won’t heal.
I carry around what I affectionately refer to as “yoga butt”, a pain that surfaces when I lengthen and move deep into the glutes, a reminder that doing more and pushing through isn’t always better. That to receive the benefits of the pose, I don’t always have to move deeper, that sometimes I need to ease out and just sit. Sit with the feelings, the sensations and sometimes the frustration of not being able to do what was once easy. I am letting yoga come to me instead of always reaching for it.
I have also learned that a strong practice does not mean time in a studio, but rather time on my mat. I used to feel bad if I couldn’t make it to a class. If I slept in, was running late or a kid was sick, the feelings of not being a “good yogi” kicked in. Those were also the days when I showed up with a top of the line mat, the best yoga gear and tried to push through a power class when what I really needed was Yin. After 10 years of practicing and completing my 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training, I realize that a committed practice means finding the time, whether it is 5 minutes or 5 hours to land on my mat. Most days that means at home-without the bamboo floors & the heated room.
I have let go of what I thought yoga was supposed to be and instead have accepted what it means to me: the union of breath and movement, of becoming whole, of moving towards emotions and feelings instead of moving away. And I will take that over perfection any day.
I am by no means an expert on anything. I have 4 kids and while most days I feel like a pretty good mom, I certainly have a lot to learn. The kids remind me of that daily. I teach yoga-and receive a lot of positive feedback from my students but first and foremost, I am a student of the practice too. I’ve been married twice so maybe I could say I am a marriage expert, or maybe not : )
But without any credentials to my name, I will say for certain that by creating space in your body (and heart and head) and by eliminating the clutter from your life (home, office, car and even some people ) you will open up room for the things that you truly love.
The shift in our house began a few years ago when we started to empty out the rooms in our home, selling and donating what had served it purpose and only allowing the items we truly loved back in. Without spending thousands on a fancy reno, we re-painted and with the clutter gone, we love our home (in fact what I once thought was too small a house for our large family, I now feel its too big).
A regular yoga practice supports creating space in the body and allows me to tune out the outside world for a bit so I can listen to my own intuition. With space in the body and mind, creativity flows and the answers to those hard questions often surface while I am on my mat.
We have let some relationships drift away without drama, choosing to surround ourselves by people who lift us up rather than drag us down. A reason, a season, a lifetime. Everyone has a role to play.
I recently hosted my Slay Your Day: For Dreamers and Doers workshop where we use yoga as a means to create space, find the calm and work towards eliminating the physical stuff, the mental clutter and the over-scheduled agendas. It sold out.
So maybe I am a bit of an expert after all : )
I love my book club. What started as an idea in 2017 has turned into a monthly gathering of women who laugh, cry, drink wine and connect. We talk about books of course but more importantly we talk about life. Our hopes and heartaches and quite literally everything in between.
For me, book club also fills a void. While I would love to pack up the kids and set sail for far away places, I have come to accept that my dream of being a vagabond family isn’t what the rest of my tribe desires. They love to travel but they LOVE the stability of home. And to be truthful, as much as I complain about the confines of a 9-5 job, I am grateful for a steady income and a pension plan.
We choose books with a travel theme or a story that takes place in another land. For now, while the kids are still young enough to need a mother in the same house (let alone on the same continent) book club will have to do.
This weekend, while much of the area I call home was blanketed in ice and snow (hello Mother Nature it’s f&^%$%ing April already) I read about a young couple in love who sailed across the Pacific to paradise. Our latests book club read.
For a few hours I was able to ignore the howling wind and imagine myself settling in on an island far away, glass of wine in hand.
One day, just not today.
Check out our book club page to follow along on our latest (literary) journey.