Last year, I fell in love with yoga. It’s been such a great routine and part of my life that I had to write a post about it 🙂 ! Here is why:
I’m the type of person who gets stressed out if my environment is out of order. I get overwhelmed and I get anxious. Seeing toys scattered all over the floor, or lots of dishes in the sink, or even just knowing there’s a pile of laundry to be done and folded gets my anxiety going.
It’s hard to be a parent sometimes and just thinking of all the things you have to do in one day can become overwhelming. The last thing I want is to be that mom who’s constantly stressing out about chores and snapping at her kids.
I didn’t know how to deal with this at first. I used to see all these pictures on social media about having the perfect nursery, having chores done and then having extra time to play with the kids, having your house look spotless at all times. Picture perfect. I used to think I had to have everything be perfect, or I was not a good enough mom.
Certainly all these other moms out there were doing it somehow. Why couldn’t I do it too? There must be something wrong me. Must not be good enough.
All these negative thoughts played over and over in my head. I was anxious and tired and felt like a failure.
Until I started taking better care of myself. Working on myself, to become a better mom. A more patient mom, more laid back, more relaxed and less of a perfectionist. It’s not easy, but one step at a time will get you places.
So I started a workout program after I had my second baby to get back into shape and lose the baby weight. I gained over 60 pounds so I knew I had a long way to go. I started with yoga to ease myself into working out again and it was the best decision I could have possibly made!
Yoga is good for your mind
Not only is yoga good for your body, it’s good for your mind. It calms you down; all that chatter that’s streaming nonstop in your brain can finally be silenced. You can allow yourself to just be in the moment and only focus on your breath. It makes you more patient throughout the day and gives you a chance to think about your reaction before taking it.
If I don’t take that time for myself to have my yoga session, I notice I am not as patient with the kids. I get stressed out more easily. When I do my yoga, it sets the mood for my whole day. I’m more positive and happy. I can get through the day’s challenges easier and stop my anxiety from taking over when I feel it rising up.
Put it this way. I was organizing the kids’ books in my room while they were playing in the living room. I had just checked on them and kept organizing for a couple more minutes. T, wearing her rainboots, came to find me and brought me back to kitchen. On the way there I noticed a trail of water where she had stepped.
I got to the kitchen to find Q sitting in front of the dog’s water bowl with a toy cup in his hand. He was using it to try to scoop out water from the bowl and drink it. (I swear I only left them alone for two minutes!!) There was water all over the floor! T then proceeded to jump up and down in the water, saying “Look, mommy! I’m jumping in muddy puddles!” She was very content with her puddle (she likes to watch Peppa Pig a lot).
Now, I usually would have gotten really frustrated at the fact that I had yet another mess to clean up. It certainly wasn’t the first one that day. But I didn’t. Instead, I pulled out my phone and took a picture and a video because it was funny. Kids will be kids 😛 .
Had I not been doing yoga, I wouldn’t have slowed down enough to notice how much fun the kids were having. Yoga teaches you how to use your breath to slow down. It teaches you skills you can use off the mat.
Sometimes we all need a moment to regroup. To take a deep breath, or a few, and then react. Yoga helps you develop a new way of thinking, one that is more positive, understanding and mindful. One that makes you stronger in dealing with problems.
It makes you flexible
One of the things the yoga instructor was saying, is that the most common excuse people have to not try yoga is that they are not flexible enough. But who starts out being flexible? It’s not about how good you are to start with. You will improve as you go along. All you need is time and consistency. As long as you give it a try it and don’t give up after the first day, you will start seeing the benefits in your life.
Yoga makes your mind more flexible too. When you come across a challenge where you would usually stop and freak out, it helps you come up with another solution. I usually have a minor panic attack when things don’t go as planned, but I’ve noticed lately that I can stop myself from it and figure out a different way of handling it. It helps me stay balanced and focused.
Yoga can help you lose weight
During this whole phase of my life where I was trying to lose weight and get back to my pre-baby weight, I only did two more intense workout programs – 21 Day Fix and PiYo (I’m not affiliated with Beachbody, I just use their programs). The rest of the time I did yoga (3 Week Yoga Retreat on Beachbody on Demand). I wasn’t trying to lose it all in one month or anything crazy. It took 9 months to gain it after all and I knew it would come off eventually.
I did lose all of it though and most of the time I did yoga. I feel better than ever and I’m proud of myself for getting to this point. More importantly, I’m happy with what yoga has brought to my life – mindfulness, patience and a way of dealing with life’s challenges. It helps me think in new ways and stay balanced. It made me realize how grateful I am for everything I have and that I really am good enough.