I thought it would be so simple to practice asana with a newborn. I thought of all the ways I could incorporate her into my practice. Practice has a new variable-a newborn. It is beautiful to practice asana, pranayama, and meditation with her. Yet, my practice is dependent upon her needs. I have to honor them before my own, and my own need to practice.
Today, the woman in line with me at Trader Joe’s aptly pointed out as she saw my baby girls’ arm peeking out of her carrier that it is no longer about me, but her. I cried. Yes, I cried. I have officially read the memo from the universe. It’s not about YOU! Children teach us this, and I don’t know where else I would have received this lesson.
If you are a new mom and want to practice yoga, I suggest finding a baby and me yoga class, or taking the time to practice while your baby is sleeping. This can be at 5am or 11pm. I have found that I have to be flexible and not so rigid with the time of day or for how long I practice. I need to go easy on myself, and relax into what is happening. It may be that 7-10 minutes is the only time I have, and it may also mean that I have to stop what I am doing and take care of my daughter. I have also learned that creativity counts. You can practice. It just takes getting a little creative, and changing it up to incorporate your baby. Seated forward bends with your baby on your lap, reclined asanas with your baby resting in your arm, meditation with your baby in your lap, or svasana with baby on your abdomen are all opportunities to share your own sacred time with your baby.
The truth is that daily life is your practice (aka life off the mat) and practicing pranayama, meditation, or asana even for a few minutes will nourish you.