ELZIA SANTIAGO
Perspective of a Yogi
July 14, 2017

MIND, HEART, MOTHER: Being a Better Parent Through Yoga

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Photo by :  kosal ley on Unsplash

I always used to say, if I were to draw my world on paper, it would look like  a whole lot of colors and shapes, carelessly thrown about, just hoping that somewhere in there, it will all make sense. Ever since my blog’s tagline changed from “Life as a mother, a wife and a muse” to “Single. Working. Mother”, my life has never been the same.

Being a single mother working freelance in an industry that demands so much of me physically, mentally and emotionally takes the biggest toll on the person I’m protecting the most: my son. Along with the order of work, I had my own core issues to deal with, and there were times that at the end of the day, all I can do is crawl into bed, and my son will just quietly crawl in there with me. I could feel his longing for my time, my attention, my compassion and my presence, but I just couldn’t cope. I was too tired to even apologize. As serendipity would have it, it was at a low point that a friend casually suggested (again, as she had been doing so for about a year) that I join her in a yoga class. Running out of excuses and energy to oppose, I agreed.

Do you believe that the universe sends you opportunities when you need them the most? That’s how I felt after that first time on the mat. I don’t remember all of it in my head, but the experience is fully integrated in my memory. I remember sitting in my car after the class, almost in disbelief of how I felt at that moment. The focus, the clarity, the way my body seemed to quiet down, and most of all, the peace. After that one hour and 15 minutes, I felt like a different person. In that small window of time, with no phone, no emails and no thoughts running a mile a minute in my brain, I found sanctuary.

I wanted more of it. I started going twice, thrice, sometimes as much as five times a week. I am not a morning person but I found myself in Ron’s 6:30am class and loved the feeling of being energized for the rest of the day. On that mat where I thought of nothing but my breath, my body and my energy, I began to renew in mind, heart and strength.

The change came slowly and gradually, but the important thing was, it came. I felt stronger, no longer running out of breath when I climbed up flights of stairs. I was more productive; I could work for long periods of time and still come home with a smile and enough energy left to play with my son. I had been living in a perpetual state of steady anxiety for months when one day I just realized, I felt calm.

As a bonus I lost weight and had great skin, but who’s looking, right?

Months later, I found myself on a summit of a mountain. I didn’t think I would find myself there ever again, but there I was. I climbed up a mountain for the first time in almost 20 years and it won’t be the last one I’m climbing. That climb started, not on the foot of the mountain, but on that first day I stepped on a mat. If I didn’t believe in the power of yoga to attract the right energy into your life, I sure believe it now.

Not to say that I don’t have my off days. There are days when I am literally dragging myself to the studio and I’m fighting the voices of excuses running through me. Too early, too late, too tired, too busy – I’ve heard it all in my head. Then I remember why I go. I remember the anchor, the focus, the clarity and I push. Most of the times I get through it. For the times I fail, I just remember to forgive myself and move on.

As a mother, yoga made me realize the importance of self-care all the more. Who knew that tiny slice of the day that I allotted for yoga would have such an impact on my relationship with my son? The physical, mental, spiritual and psychological shifts in me contributed to the work in progress of attachment parenting. I’m telling you, the universe really sends you the energy and vibrations you need when you ask for it.

There are many reasons to get into yoga. It could be weight loss, it could be curiosity, it could be convenience; whatever it is, no one will judge your reasons. You made it to the mat, and that’s the only thing that matters.

My life on paper is still a bunch of colors strewn about, but it’s no longer aimless to me. I see it much more clearly now. Someday it will make sense. Till then, I’ve got the mat.

Namaste.

elizaypon

Eliza is mother to 7-year old Basti. She’s a working makeup artist and associate editor for Working Mom magazine. Eliza is also part of a group called BetterMe, which aims to empower women and mothers to find their core to, in turn, raise a better generation. 

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