When we bought our first home in the beautiful Blue Mountains (BC or before children), I was lucky enough to place first dibs on the loveliest room in the house. This room became my sacred and serene yoga space. The room had honeysuckle coloured floorboards, soft white walls and high ceilings. The large cottage window looked out onto a stunning Rhododendron that donned huge bright pink flowers. This tree brought me hope in the depths of a cold mountain winter knowing that when it started to bud and flower, warmer weather was upon us.
In this space all I had was my yoga props neatly stacked in the corner, some inspirational photos and quotes on the wall and a small bookshelf of my yoga books. I used to leave the door open because I loved walking past and looking in, even doing this brought me a sense of calm. I practiced yoga in this space most days. My practice was strong and dynamic. I had long 2.5-hour sessions with lots of time for breathing and relaxation. I had never been more dedicated and disciplined.
And then I had a baby boy.
And then another one.
And then another one.
Three boys later my yoga space looks a little different now. When we moved into our home in Mount Barker, I quickly claimed the little lined room in the shed away from the chaos of inside the house. It didn’t take long before the yoga room turned into a Play Room. The once woollen carpet now has small muddy footprints all over it. The sliding door has smudgy greasy hand and face marks on it and one panel is blackened out where a toy hammer accidentally went through it. The once clean wall now has free hand drawings all over it as well as having dents from that same toy hammer. To practice yoga in there I have to push aside the drum kit, train tracks, slot car track, play oven and thousands of hot wheels cars as well as dispose of the occasional rotting apple core and orange peel to make a space for my mat. And I have to say I love it. I love my yoga space.
I’m certainly not declaring this to be a dilemma and if so it would certainly be a first world one. It’s really not about lack of space or the boys, its how life has changed since having children and how my yoga practice has had to join the party. My practice now is infrequent and short. I often have little faces pressed up against the glass, or visitors that desperately want to join in doing yoga but end up making towers out of the blocks. Savasana may be brought to an abrupt end by someone crying or screaming. My body after three children has also changed. Many years of half sleep and breast-feeding slowed down my practice to sometimes just legs up the wall.
This is okay because it has to be. So I congratulate myself for the 15 minute practices and I pat myself on the back for my ‘lay flat on the floor’ for half an hour sessions and celebrate for my practice that includes standing poses and an inversion. And sometimes when the stars align all three of the boys, under the direction of dad, spend time putting all the toys neatly away and vacuuming the excess dirt off the carpet for mummy’s yoga practice.
Through motherhood I feel I have misplaced a little of myself, like a strong regular yoga practice but in other ways I feel I have gained new understandings in myself and my practice like letting go of expectations and listening to my body. No doubt my boys will grow up and perhaps they may want to practice with me still…but the space will slowly lose its toys and grime and it will be just me again. And I think I’ll miss the old grotty yoga space.
written by Jamey