Lessons I Learned From Yoga

On Thursday mornings you will most often find me leading a yoga class before the sun rises with some pretty amazing women.  Yoga has always been something I was interested in and would do occasionally.  It was a gentle way to stretch and strengthen my body.  Over the last year, it has become a deeper thing and a more regular part of my life.

I went from loving yoga to leading a class in about five seconds after a sweet friend basically told me to do it and that I could. So, I believed her, and I did. Let me tell you, those first few classes were scary! I didn't know these women very well yet, and I was afraid of judgment and doing it wrong.  As time went on, I felt more confident- partially because of the sweet support of my friends.  Now I am writing new sequences all the time, reading books, doing research, finding new poses and different ways to combine them, and sharing my love of yoga with anyone who will listen.

Yoga has been such an integral and positive thing in my life and I am so grateful for the push I received to make it a priority.  This point in my life is a time of learning and absorbing for me. I know that without my yoga practice I would not be as open to learning as I am now.  Yoga has helped me learn to process my thoughts, learn deep breathing and meditation, learn to control my breath and my heart rate- which helps me so much to not panic in every day life.  It has made me stronger and more confident in my body and abilities.  Yoga, practiced often, has increased my strength and flexibility mentally, emotionally and physically.  Most importantly, though, it has taught me that I can do hard things, that I can remove the chaos from my mind, and that I can control my focus.  These tools have been so helpful to me, completely outside of exercise. 

Today, after yoga, I took some time to be still, to read my scriptures, to say a prayer and really allow the Spirit in for the day.  Yoga opens my mind and body up to so much that I felt a huge difference, a calm peace fell over me and I received it because I was open to doing so.  When I got up this morning I was tired and sore and I didn't feel I would get much out of yoga today.  I need to, in those early moments of the day, remember what yoga brings to my life. It is one of my tools to support myself in being open to receive good things and release bad things, to allow me to be closer to my Heavenly Father, to find and tune into whatever my focus is for the day.  Today, I realized the full value of something I have come to truly love and the lesson that I learned from it, and want to share with you, is to find what opens you up. Find what allows you to bring goodness into yourself and helps you to focus. Find whatever that is and practice it often. You will be amazed at the difference it makes in your life when you are open to receive and allowing your true self to come forward.  Have a beautiful day! Namaste.

That Mom

I am that Mom. You know, the one who can't ever get the laundry folded. I come into my bedroom every night to find the clean piles I managed to separate into baskets dumped all over the floor in a child's eager attempt to find pajamas or underwear. I am the Mom who's bathroom desperately needs to be cleaned. Who really needs to vacuum. I am the Mom who sometimes has trouble getting showered for the day. I often have dishes piled in the sink and crumbs on the floor. I am the Mom who has to apologize to my kids often.  I am the impatient Mom, pushing them to move a little faster, be a little better, go a little farther.  I lose my temper or hurt their feelings or get frustrated with them for being who they are.  I am the Mom who just can't deal with the paint or the play dough today.  Or play that game one more time.  I am the Mom who "can't right now because I have to work." 

I am also the Mom who suggests impromptu family bike rides/walks after a stressful day. I am the Mom who works late at night so I can sometimes take my kids to the park instead.  I am the Mom who sometimes takes my kids up on their invitation to play "house" and manages to survive young girls pretending to be teenagers with boyfriends who's names are eerily the same as their Dad's. I am the Mom who holds storytime and sometimes does voices.  I am the Mom who puts my girls to bed a little late because I gave them some quiet one-on-one time to talk with me.  I am the Mom who teaches my children to be kind above all else, to be grateful for everyone and everything they have, and to always do their best.  I am the Mom who tries to help my children understand their Heavenly Father and how to talk to Him.  I am the Mom who's children know how loved they are. Who tries to always impart to them just how proud I am of them.  

I lay here tonight in bed thinking over the day.  All the failures, everything that didn't get done. All the frustrations, the conflicts, the issues, the fact that I am once again going to bed way too late, and trying to find a positive in a rough day.  I just need to remind myself that, despite all my shortcomings as a Mom, as a wife, as a woman, as a person, as a daughter of God, I am enough. What I did today, it was enough.  Tomorrow is a new day. And yes, I fully intend to make tomorrow better. I may fail. I will make mistakes. I probably will still not get to clean my bathroom, or do every fun thing my kids want me to, or get that pile of laundry folded.  But tonight my daughter cried after I reminded her again just exactly how proud and lucky I am to be her Mother. She fell into my arms and said, "I just love you so much!"  My other daughter beamed at hearing that I was proud of her for simply being herself. The day may not have been the best, but the way it ended tells me that I am doing ok. It is enough for today.  I will always, always try to do better than my best for them. I will never be completely satisfied with my performance as their Mom.  I will keep learning, keep trying, keep striving for balance.  But, I am that Mom who fiercely loves my kids, and they fiercely love me too. And that is more than enough for today.

(I know it has been a while since I have written. I just had all these thoughts exploding in my head so I thought I would write them here in case someone else needed to hear them too.  And just in case that is you, know this: You are enough, too.)  Goodnight!!