4 Reasons You Need to Make More Time for Your Yoga Practice Now
When you’re trying to keep all the parent plates spinning — laundry, healthy meals, a career, kids’ extracurricular activities, the list is endless — it’s very easy to let your yoga practice slide. At first, it’s just one day of “I’ll just skip today and do an extra session on the weekend.” Then that one day turns into a few days, and that turns into a few weeks, and before you know it, you’re stressed, burnt out on life, and more short-tempered with your children. When you’re a single parent, time, energy, and motivation are all in short supply, but making time for your yoga practice is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your children, and here are four reasons why.
1. It makes parenting easier.
I know, it sounds too good to be true. A little breathing and a few asanas, and suddenly you’re Mary Poppins. Let’s be real: It’s definitely not going to cure all your parenting issues, but it will help — probably more than you think. Yoga is about training your body to be both focused and relaxed in challenging circumstances (Parsva Bakasana pose anyone?), and getting better at breathing through the pose and recognizing the difference between discomfort and pain translates to your role as a mother in a big way.
2. It relieves stress and creates zen.
If you already love yoga, then you know the instant feeling of calm and peace that settles on you once you take your place on the mat and start your ujjayi breath. When I start that first Surya Namaskara A (Sun Salutation A), my brain and my spirit take that big cleansing breath right along with my lungs, and I find that sacred space inside where I know that all is well and all will be well, and I can handle anything that the day, my ex, or my kids bring. While regularly practicing yoga probably won’t have you quoting Buddah at the breakfast table, you might just be able to take a few deep breaths and count to 10 before asking your child to put on their shoes for 547th time this morning.
3. It helps you get your priorities in order.
While at first it seems a little bit of an oxymoron to say that taking time for a regular yoga practice can help you have more time to create a life you’ll love, it’s true. You can’t be at your best when you’re stressed, tired, and overscheduled, and it’s amazing how clearer things become with a little self-care. You feel refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to take a good long look at your life. In the calm, focused state that yoga facilitates, you’ll be more apt to appreciate the good things you have going for you and more prepared to create realistic, actionable plans about what needs to be changed as well as why and how.
4. It gives you a sense of purpose.
Being a parent is difficult no matter your situation, but if you don’t have a sense of purpose or a specific reason (beyond just loving your children and keeping them alive) driving you forward, it’s even easier to flounder and start wondering how you’re going to make it through another day. Yoga, particularly when paired with meditation, helps you tap into your core being and the root of your true self. And when you are more grounded and self-aware, you’re more likely to be focused on what you want out of life and why you’re doing what you’re doing, which translates to a more resilient spirit and increased productivity.
Katelynne has been trying to get the hang of this raising kids thing since 2007 but spends most of her time wondering who stole her copy of Parenting 101. When she’s not playing referee for her two children or writing all the words, she fantasizes about a full night’s sleep, uninterrupted showers, and triple venti caramel macchiatos with coconut milk.