Let’s face it, if every parent received a manual for parenting like our Asana Manual from yoga teacher training, we would all be professional parents. I became a new mom 18 months ago and although I was given lots of tips and read many articles, nothing really prepares you for what it means to parent.
The first few months were the hardest. Dealing with a colicky baby, I would find myself having daily meltdowns. I eventually got the hang of being a parent and was surviving motherhood, but I found I still had meltdowns quite often. When he was about one – which I call the early terrible twos – I found myself getting constantly impatient with my son. I felt like I was always angry when he got into things and threw tantrums. I didn’t have time to breathe or catch my bearings. When I went away for my 200-hour yoga teacher training I was thankful to finally have time to myself to do something for myself.
Being a parent changed for me when I returned, thanks to the experience I had. I learned that – no matter what – I need to nurture and care for my body and my soul properly in order to be able to properly care for another human. I have learned to take a step back and breathe within every moment. I have found more patience and compassion, practising Ahimsa: nonviolence. Instead of getting frustrated when my son acts up, I take a few breaths and find the compassion in my heart for him.
He is just a tiny little human trying to communicate something to me, not trying to test my patience. Instead of getting frustrated that I don’t have much time for myself anymore, I have allowed most time for myself to become one with the time for my son; I include him in things that I would normally do on my own, like a daily yoga practise, and have not become attached to the idea that I need my own time to do things like that.
This in turn has created many wonderful moments for me and my son. I find my days as a parent are more filled with joy and wonderful memories being made. I have finally found contentment in my life, where I am on this continuing journey as a parent.
What has yoga helped you discover about your capacity?
Contributed by guest author Alessandra Turone, Yoga Teacher Training Alum