You think having kids at home is an obstacle to your hatha yoga practice and a setback to your morning meditation routine, don’t you? Kids make a change in so many areas of life and yoga practice is no exception. All you have to do is make adjustments in the way that you have done it before and make the most of what you can get in the present moment. It’s not easy to do, especially at times when your kid’s age is described in months and not in years yet.
So I have summed up a few tips for your practice after becoming a parent:
- Plan your practice at the time when your kid is not hungry and is not tired. If a child has not had his basic needs met, he will not allow you to even get your mat out of cupboard. So make sure his stomach is full and he has woken up recently.
- If you’re used to gently shifting from one posture to another in a continuous flow with your eyes closed and focus on your inner universe, then now you just have to accept that there will be interruptions between and during your asanas, because someone needs help with the broken wing of helicopter in the very moment you’ve twisted yourself into that Ardha Matsyendrasana. So the faster you accept it, the less frustration will erupt onto your family members.
- Take it as a fun game and not as super serious “poker face” yoga practice. Kids can sense right away that you take them as annoying obstructions with your endless remarks. You annoy yourself with that and everybody else gets annoyed too. Stay positive, make joke or animal sound while in asana. It will loosen up the atmosphere and after 10 mins they will most probably be off to doing something else, because kids just lose interest in things naturally. But if you push them away and restrict them in some way claiming your Mommy’s alone time, they will keep coming back and claim your attention in million ways more.
- Let kids climb all over you, especially in the beginning of your practice. In their eyes Mommy rolls out the mat and starts doing something weird in their level, I mean floor level. That is something extra ordinary and fun, so they want to join. It’s very educational in two ways: kids learn from you that daily practice is just as normal activity as brushing your teeth and they learn asanas while climbing all over you with the whole body not merely with their eyes. They literally experience each asana through all body involvement. They feel the yoga practice belongs to your life and they do too. Besides, sometimes letting kids do something actually makes them obey more than setting rules and restrictions.
- You may want to provide your kid with some toy (preferably not a gadget with a screen) or activity next to you, so you both are engaged in your own activity. Roll another mat next to you and let the kids play there.
- Yoga practice does not happen only on yoga mat. Extend it to the other time of the day. For instance, breastfeeding is a great time to do meditation, if you are seated. Your child will benefit from that: less stress hormones and more prana in the Mommy’s milk. If you prefer breastfeeding while laying in bed, it’s a nice time to practice Nidra yoga and catch up on those sleepless hours. Nidra yoga practiced for 10 – 15 mins may give you as much energy as if you’ve taken a 2-hour nap.
- Last but not least, kids are literally your consciousness, meaning that according to vedic astrology, kids and your consciousness is the same bhava (or house) in your horoscope. So, that is why kids are the best teachers and contributors to the transformation of your consciousness. Look at kids as the reflection of your consciousness and rather than “shush” them away, you may want to make them part of your practice.
Women are very good at multitasking thanks to high flexibility of women consciousness, so unless you don’t isolate yourself from the new life that you’re in, it is relatively easy to keep practicing yoga while being with children. And remember it’s not going to be that way for the rest of your life. You will be able to return to your solo practice sooner than you think. Create fun memories for you and your children about this short time when they are little.
I’m sure you will succeed! Om