This article is part one in an ongoing series.
- When I close my eyes and breathe deeply, I feel … ”peace and strength.”
- If I could sit with my younger self, I would tell her … ”just be here.”
- To know the power of yoga, is to know … ”connection.”
When it comes to “Mommy + Me” yoga, we as mothers can set pretty high and hurtful expectations for ourselves. Let’s stop. Meet real-life mom of three, Kat Casey, who is offering us a truthful heart-to-heart on how to create “acceptance” and “tolerance” for an imperfect practice, especially during motherhood.
“The experience of my yoga practice has shifted dramatically since becoming a mother,” Kat confessed not long into our conversation.
She graciously reflected on the evolution of her yoga journey, starting with the birth of her first child in 2016 when she had a more structured resource like Mommy + Me Yoga. But, after having her 2nd child things began to shift for her quite unexpectedly.
She thought, ”how do I do this with an infant and a toddler running around potty-training and peeing on things!” She says, “It was a struggle, it was really hard to figure out how to meet both of their needs and make time for me … it became a lot more of a “me practice” instead of a “we practice”. Then the pandemic happened and I had my third child.”
Kat soon realized she needed to create a new relationship with yoga.
“Reflecting on the relationship that I have with yoga, it’s acceptance and release from form and expectation. It’s given me an opportunity to really just “be”, even in the chaos of kids running all over the place,” she says good-naturedly.
She adds while laughing, “The 45, 60, 90-minute yoga sessions are a thing of the past! Those are gone. But on the other hand, it’s really wowing to me how much movement I can find and how much stillness I can find in a 15-minute flow.”
The secret, she says, is in “connecting to play.”
“It became more of this playful thing and it wasn’t even on the mat — not in yoga clothing — it became so integrated in our lives … It turned into, ‘okay we are going to get down on the mat for 15 mins, show me your three-legged dog … okay, now let me show you my three legged dog,’” she chuckles, amused by her new reality.
When asked if this new relationship with yoga is more enjoyable than the former, she took a moment to breathe in her truth and said thoughtfully, “it has softened just like every other part of me has softened. It’s more whole now. So, I’m really cultivating joy and peace through the present moment.”
With a mother’s gentle offering, she left us with some meditation homework, inviting us to explore the depths of our own practice as mothers.
“Can you challenge yourself to accept or tolerate the distractions around you? Can you challenge yourself to move into that tabletop or downward-dog with a child hanging on your back? Maybe that turns into a wiggly-worm instead of a downward-dog or you balance them on you while moving into the tabletop. How can you find some acceptance and tolerance so that you can then connect to play?” she asks, smiling.