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Challenge: Taking Care of YOU

Mama Yogi

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For the last 12 months, I’ve been trying to figure out why I haven’t exercised. The calendar turned to 2021 and I rolled out my yoga mat, set my pink balance block and wool blanket to my right. As my online class started one morning, I wedged myself into child's pose and exhaled. My shoulders relaxed as my body sank toward the mat. Forehead to the floor, I began to imagine myself on a warm beach in Belize. Then, footsteps approached.

“Mom! I’m hungry. Can you get me cereal?” my eldest daughter asked.

“Sure,” I responded, my voice buried beneath my extended arms. I unfurled my body. “Once you finish eating you need to get into your leotard.”

Digital ballet class started at 9:00 am. There wasn’t time for yoga. I ran to the dishwasher and pulled out two dirty bowls. Behind me, the yoga instructor guided the class into Mountain Pose. Oh good, I’m standing—this counts as yoga, right?

Bowls washed, I poured cereal and headed back to the mat. I leaned forward, dropping my head toward my toes. A long exhale. A deep stretch. Back on the white sand beach.

The piddle-paddle of little feet approached.

My younger daughter’s disheveled hair startled me. It looked like she had just climbed out of bed.

“Can you get me some waaah-ter?” I smiled, and lifted myself out of downward dog.

In the kitchen, I poured a glass of water for her and headed back to my mat.

Both girls climbed onto the couch with their cereal bowls.

“Mom, are you sweating?” my youngest daughter asked.

“Not yet.”

“What about now?” She slides off the couch and walks over to poke my forehead. I continue into cobra pose, my head and chest arching while her tiny finger poked me between the eyebrows. Then, she climbed on my back.

“Honey, can you go sit back on the couch?” I asked. My eyes drifted under the couch. A pile of her shoes and toys. Why hadn’t I noticed that before?

Now I know why I haven’t exercised in months. A yoga pose a day might be all I can manage. I’ll squeeze in more when I can—after I get those shoes out from under the couch. There must be a yoga pose for that.

*Image from Kamaji Ogino on Pexels

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