The Yoga Practice

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 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!

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