I have never been able to take a post-partum baby & mommy yoga class because they are all scheduled during normal work hours.
That, or I now have two kids to drag along to a class, not just one.
So I do my personalized version of yoga-stretching-tai chi in my living room, pausing every once in a while to tend to the demands of my always-hungry infant. Or to fend off the assault of my always-running toddler.
I find the stop-start nature of this annoying, but I’m trying to go with The Flow, to keep in the spirit of things.
Forget proper meditation, though. In the morning, that is. I’ve tried setting my alarm to beat the kids to waking up – HA! What a joke! The earlier I set my alarm, the earlier they wake.
If I can get the toddler to sleep, I can usually get the baby to sleep soon thereafter, and then I can take some afternoon silent space to meditate and stretch, and boy howdy, that makes a difference. Mental and spiritual refreshment is key to helping me stay mindful, in the moment, present with my self and my children.
My friend who has a 10 month old – she teaches high school in upstate NY – took a stress-reduction class that turned out to focus on the meditation techniques of that Zabat-Zinn guy. She was told to do a 40-minute body scan every morning. What? With a baby??? She was more stressed out by trying to fit that into her life…
Still, I’m becoming a firm believer that everyone should meditate – in Britain, the NHS even subsidizes meditation programs! because of the health benefits – full-time workers, white and blue collar, poor and rich alike – but to make space for that, we’d need to have a nationwide midday siesta (you could nap, too – we all need more sleep!) – maybe in rotation to handle waking kids?
I would love to have more tai chi/yoga Gatherings – not classes you have to pay for and attend, but get togethers where people stretch and meditate together.
If I had extra time/energy, I think I would become an activist for getting more yoga, tai chi, meditation classes made available at very low costs to make them more accessible to poor / stressed/ working parents (of both genders). How about some free stuff in the parks? How about getting whole families breathing and meditating together?
So much of the conflicts and strains in our lives directly stem from stress taking control of people.
God these hormones are like drugs. I’m turning into a hippie.