This is an excerpt from an article by Judith Lasater, a San Francisco-based Yoga therapist.
She writes regularly about Yoga and its relationship to daily life - with kids, jobs, family issues, basically the 'whole nine yards'!! I have enjoyed reading her writings over the past few years and wanted to share it with you.
This article was about parenting with mindfulness -- yep, one can do that :)
Like yoga, parenting is a balancing act that requires love, compassion and the dedication to keep the practice alive!!
How I became Swami Mommy...
"I used to fret on missing a session on the mat, because I had to take care of one more issue.
Then, I figured out that I needed to change my perception of yoga practice.
I used to define yoga practices as 'Formal' and 'Informal' - Formal practice as he specific practice which is done on the mat or on the meditation cushion. Informal practice is what happens the rest of the time in life. In transforming myself into a 'Swami Mommy', I learned that I can take my yoga 'off the mat' and into my daily life. In a more abstract way, I learned that I could practice yoga anytime, anywhere I wanted to. The variable was 'ME'. I did not need a perfectly clean and quiet room to do my practice of the day; I could practice yoga at the supermarket line, when I am helping them with their homework, when I'm watching TV with them, when I'm in the middle of figuring out what boundaries are appropriate for them, even when we are all confused if we have to order pizza or Taco Bell :)) If I am a yoga student, then anything I do is practice, if I choose to be mindful, then every moment can become practice. Then, my practice is not limited by location ,but rather by my intention.
So, what am I choosing right now? This has become my mantra for mindful parenting. Am I choosing a practice by remaining aware and mindful, or am I choosing to react with frustration or resentment, because today's yoga practice is not taking the form I would like it right now? How I have answered this question, day after day, has shaped my choices and hence my practice, on and off the mat, has taken on a whole new meaning and depth. I have found out that I do not need to do 'perfect' yoga poses to reap great rewards from my practice. And, I do not need to be a 'perfect' parent, either --- just a committed one who's willing to learn, laugh, 'get back on the parenting mat' and try again." Absolutely meaningful, isn't she?