About 15 years ago I started to practice yoga. I started because I read an article in a magazine that Madonna practiced yoga. And I wanted Madonna arms. I was already exercising 6 days a week at a gym and I was engaged to my husband at the time (so I had lots of free time…no kids yet). My first yoga class was at a real hippie yoga studio. We moved our toes for about an hour. I wanted to run out of the room! I needed cardio.
One year later and as a married woman, I wanted to try yoga again. I found a woman, Barbara (Hi, Barbara!) and it was a great match. This wasn’t sexy big studio yoga. She taught in a room above a laundromat. And it was freezing in the winter. And the music was very calming, from a little radio. And I got into a lunge and BOOM, I felt yoga. Something opened and shifted and traveled through me. I practiced once a week up until my pregnancy with the twins.
After the twins were born, I ached to do yoga. And the yoga community changed during the nine months of pregnancy! A boutique studio opened (Hi, Sandy!) and it was close and had the day time hours I needed. And I hired a babysitter and I practiced a more physical yoga. And I got a yoga body (hmmm, I was also working out at the community gym daily while the twins were in a kid care room along with my raw food diet). I attended any workshop I could manage to get into and was included as a peer with the teachers. I practiced once a week.
I met great friends (Hi, Jennifer and Beth!). I still love them like sisters though one lives in San Francisco and the other in New Mexico now). Oh how I miss them. I was balancing yoga with twins, trying to meditate, working on a handstand. And then my Mommy friends started practicing yoga and they would practice 2-4 times a week! Was I doing something wrong? Oh no! A voice came into my head and I started to put pressure on myself to go more often, get into that handstand no matter what, and compete.
Two more pregnancies came and went. And I was a confused Mom and yogi. Studios were opening left and right. I tried Ashtanga, Anusara, Vinyasa, Yin. Whatever I read about I tried. And I couldn’t squeeze in yoga more than 1 time a week without becoming stressed. Four kids, a babysitter and going to studios! Vata took over, insomnia took over, anxiety took over. This wasn’t right.
I stopped my practice. I took a deep breath. I embraced my Judaism and a less physical practice with my husband.
Now, I like to think I found the balance. I found My Yoga. Debbie’s Yoga. A Mom, daughter, sister, wife, friend, musician, baker and student. I practice at home, I go to yogaglo.com now and then. Forget about the handstand! I want to twist and lube up my body before the kids wake up so I can be a vibrant, real woman during the day and ready to handle all the challenges that can come before 8am! I do still have the remnants of yoga arms, and I love them, cause I can hold my 18 month old and 4 year old at the same time.
Funny thing is that my Mom (who is 70) took up yoga about three years ago. And she does all those show off poses I decided to let go of. Good for her!