Written By: Kathy Glow @ Kissing the Frog
After my third and fourth sons were born, I worked out twice a week with a personal trainer who had me doing a classic reps and sets routine. While I’m sure I was getting a good workout, I rarely walked out of the gym feeling good physically or emotionally.
I would drive home, arms and legs shaking from the intense workout, almost afraid I was going to become so weak from strain that I would crash my car. And inevitably, for the next few days, my muscles would be so sore that I would dread the daily tasks that would tax my overworked muscles even further.
And that in turn would make me crabby with my family. But, I would keep going back, punishing myself under the assumption that “no pain” meant “no gain.”
Lifting weights clearly wasn’t making me happy; rather, it was exhausting me and making me feel weaker and worse about myself than I was already feeling.
While pregnant last year with my fifth child, I again worked with a personal trainer who introduced me to yoga.
I fell in love.
Rather than feeling weak and shaky, I walked away from our yoga sessions feeling strong and invigorated. Instead of feeling weighed down by my aching muscles, yoga left me walking much taller than my five feet three inches. I carried away an inner peace that I hadn’t gained while straining myself to do “just five more reps.”
This summer has been crazy and chaotic with all four boys home. I’m taking care of their needs all day long, running them to camps, baseball and music practice, therapy appointments, swimming lessons, the pool and playdates. I’ve barely found time to take care of myself, much less achieve any clarity of thought.
Then came word that my country club would be having free poolside yoga every Tuesday morning. My budding inner yogini dug out her yoga mat and headed straight there.
And my summer hasn’t been the same since.
At least once a week I take an hour for myself to, as demonstrated by the lotus pose, “sit perfectly straight and be absolutely still, relaxed and comfortable and alert.” I take time to clear my mind of all the parenting mistakes and stresses that have been plaguing me. I allow myself time to relax and rejuvenate for the next round of kid activities. And I give myself credit for what my body has done and can do and for how strong it is.
I have to admit, the first time we did savasana, the final relaxation during which we are instructed to lie perfectly still and keep our minds clear, I panicked. I didn’t think I was capable of doing nothing for five whole minutes. My mind raced over all the things I would have to do once I arrived back home.
Now, several weeks into the session, I look forward to savasana. Along with the previous hour’s practice, it returns me home to my children balanced, strong, and happy.
I plan to continue practicing yoga after my kids are back in school. I think the craziness of school and practice schedules will bring the need for peace and meditation.
My favorite meaning of Namaste is “I bow to the divine in you.” It may have taken me a while, but I think yoga has finally helped me find my divine.
What helps you find your “divine?”