Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mama's home yoga practice (is awesome!)

Since the birth of my son, I have struggled to find time to practice yoga at home. 

And, although I would love to attend a yoga class at least once a week, I made the decision shortly after he was born, that while he is an infant and needs me so intensely, I would not spend what precious free time I have away from him at a yoga class.  I know this won't be forever, so I look forward to the day when I will return to class, but for now I am happy to spend that time with my sweet baby.

About four weeks after his birth, I stepped back onto the mat.  I was eager to find out how my body would feel after nearly ten months of pregnancy and the birth of my son.  I also wanted to stretch out some of the aches that breastfeeding was causing.

I took it slowly at first and did a few poses for only a few minutes at a time.  It felt wonderful!  I was amazed, though, at my lack of strength and the changes in my body.  Although it did seem that my hips were much more flexible than before pregnancy.

After a few weeks, I felt ready to dive back in to my old yoga routine, which was a DVD with five days worth of practices.  I loved this DVD and the teacher.  During my three month maternity leave, I was able to do a thirty minute practice with this DVD about four times a week.  It was always rushed, though.  As soon as my husband would get home from work, I would run to the basement and pop in the DVD.  Rarely could I completely focus on my practice.  I was always listening for Josias' cry or alert for indications that he needed to eat.  BUT, I was practicing and it felt good.

After I went back to work, this daily routine went out the window.  My day goes like this:  wake up at five to pump, get Josias ready for daycare, get me ready for work, eat breakfast, breastfeed Josias and head out the door.  After dropping Josias off at daycare, I have an hour commute.  At the end of the eight hour workday, I have an hour commute back home.  My husband picks Josias up from daycare, so when I arrive home at 5:45, I breastfeed him.  If the stars align that night, as a family we take the dog for a half hour walk.  That usually leaves less than a half hour to make dinner, eat dinner, bathe Josias, and get time ready for bed by 7ish.

By 7:45, Josias is asleep and I have about an hour (I try to get in bed before nine, since I have to be up at five and will need to feed Josias about four times throughout the night) to prepare everything for the next day and practice yoga.  Now, we probably all know, having the time and actually doing it are two different things, especially when exhaustion has set in.  For about two months now, I have established a 20-30 minutes practice almost every night, without the DVD.

In the next post, I will share how I established my regular, home practice.

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