This year I've been trying to adopt a healthier approach to my everyday life. If you follow me on Instagram, you'll be aware of my efforts to improve my diet, which I'm taking even further by growing my own in our veg patch. I realised in April, after falling ill, that feeling good didn't just come down to the quality of the food on your plate, and I needed to try and improve the relationship I have with my body. Any mother reading this will understand just how tough it is to get back into shape after having a baby, even when the baby weight has fallen away, and I realised just how far I had let things slip when I really had to fight to feel healthy and, more importantly, okay with myself.
I've been doing yoga since my teens, and I've always used my practice as a tool for making my way through periods of stress or unhappiness, as well as method for keeping physically healthy. But despite a few amazing months of postnatal yoga, I hadn't managed to unroll my yoga mat for well over a year.
And so, with a few stutters and starts, I've been trying to find the time to squeeze in at least fifteen minutes of yoga everyday. Ha! - I hear you cry - fifteen minutes? Well yes, dear reader, for like most mothers, (and yes, some fathers), I'm trying to balance a toddler, a busy home life, a job, and a relationship, and I seem to have lost my time management skills somewhere along the way. Classes are out of the question - I have neither the time, the energy (for they would have to be in the evening), or the bank balance for such a luxury, something I used to take for granted. I thought I was on my own, until my eyes were opened to the world of youtube yoga, and my oh my, what a wild and varied world that is. I'm particularly taken with Yoga with Adrienne, and her 'Thirty days of yoga', which is handily broken down into routines no more than 30 minutes long.
My (almost) daily dose of yoga might not have solved all my ills, but its helping me, step by step, to turn this year around. I managed to fit a 45 minute power yoga session into nap time today (a practice I've never really looked into before), and even though I ended up collapsed in a sweaty heap, I felt so empowered! And so tired! On the days when I just don't have time to switch on the computer, I've found myself running through a sun salutation, in my pajamas, on my bedroom floor, as a way of ensuring I start my day just right. I might be a bit stiff and out of shape, but I'm getting there, and more importantly I'm gifting myself a few moments everyday which are just for me. And we all know how rare that is when you're a parent.
Oh, and as for the realities of attempting yoga with a toddler around....
...It doesn't work.