Being a mom can be uncomfortable, unfamiliar, challenging, and simultaneously rewarding… much like yoga. Guest writer Tiffany Prior shares insight from her journey into motherhood.
We begin our journey, swollen with the abundance of the universe, round and encompassing all of creation within us. In a short time, we are thrust into the role of the caretaker, provider and sustainer of a new being, all while inhabiting a seemingly alien body, experiencing sensations and aspects of our biology we have never experienced before. The sudden bombardment of data, options, and unsolicited opinions about the various evolutions of “right and wrong” — no matter how irrelevant — comes even before the baby arrives.
In these moments, to say that hearing anything other than “You are incredible,” “You are enough,” “You are abundant,” or “You are loved,” would be inappropriate and ill-timed, should allow us all to pause and reconsider the standpoint from which we operate.
I invite you to consider the Yoga of Motherhood, as a practice. It is another facet of the movement we call life. It is an aspect of the unique expression that is our lives. It is not always graceful. The transition can be less than seamless, and can be clumsy as we try to juggle this new role we have abruptly found ourselves in. We may not have settled into the homeostasis between our old lives, and our new state of being, which can leave us feeling disheveled and disembodied.
To contemplate the parallel practices of motherhood and Yoga, there must be recognition that each of our soul’s journeys, our life’s paths, our spirituality, and our history are unique. By recognizing that, if we sit as observers, not only of others, but also ourselves we can understand that even on our worst of days, at the core of our being is love. As mothers, I believe that we are all trying to do our best. The Yoga of Motherhood is a practice, like everything else, and is not seeded in perfection. Some days, the practice feels wonderful. We may feel empowered and strong. Other days, all we may want is to lie in Savasana (final relaxation). I assure you, that in these moments, our only thought is survival. The pressure to perform can feel insurmountable, like climbing Everest, but we were somehow neglected an oxygen mask and a guide.
What I invite us all to do, as mothers, is recognize that we are only observing the smallest aspect of each other’s practice. To set aside our judgment and expectations about what we feel the practice should look like, and move from a place of love. What began as an offering about “The Yoga of Motherhood: A sentiment about how to be more yogic individuals, moving towards a place of enlightenment for our children and ourselves,” has become an offering about how to be kinder to ourselves and each other. In adjusting our perspective, I have hope that it will spur an ability to fully appreciate the communal aspect of being a mother, because all of the alignment we need to raise our children well is already within us. – Namaste
Tiffany Prior is a St. Louis based Yoga instructor, plant-based chef, homebirth, peaceful parenting, and holistic living advocate. She resides among the trees with her husband, son, and 2 dogs. When not at home, she and her family spend their time traveling around the country in their van.