Hello fellow yogis. My name is Rhonda and I am a yoga mamma. I’ve been practicing Yoga for about 7 years. Working out has been a constant in my life since I was 18 years old. I’ve been through many phases aerobics, Taekwando, running the stairs, boxing, lifting weights, swimming for an hour and fifteen minutes a day yes, I’ve tried many different forms of exercise. I guess you could say I get bored quickly and maybe this why I have lived in so many different cities. In the past, I always had the need to find some new form of working out because the desire to be fit and lead a healthy life style was always there, but I’d get bored of the same running path or lap after lap in the pool and I’d look for something different. Then, I found yoga when I was about 25. I was hooked.
For me, yoga has always been about strengthening my body while reducing my stress levels and calming my mind. After yoga class, I am in a Zen-like state. I am more calm, more relaxed and my body feels refreshed. There have been pockets in my life when I could not practice yoga regularly and I felt like my release was missing. These pockets include a major move, pregnancy, and motherhood, all which happened somewhat concurrently. It was the perfect stress storm. I needed yoga more than ever, but with everything going on it was hard to practice regularly, not to mention the last few months of pregnancy when my big, round belly got in the way of up dog.
Presently, my son is 11 months and he is a big boy at 25 pounds. Carrying him up and down stairs all day, dancing with him, playing with him, getting him in and out of the car, it all takes a toll on my tiny frame and there are many days I go to sleep with shoulder and back aches. So, yoga is more important than ever now, but there are weeks that I find it difficult to fit it in and its frustrating. Life with a baby is wonderful, but life with a baby is different your time is not yours. It belongs to someone else. In the past, I could wake up and go to yoga in the morning or I could go late in the day after work. It was my schedule. I decided. Now, although I am still the boss I think my baby boy dictates my schedule. He wakes up bright and early and he needs to be fed, played with, read to, and I like to spend quality time with him. The rest of the day is similar play dates, parks, feedings, naps, and mamma’s attention. So, I have to calculate exactly what slot to fit yoga into. These days, thanks to a regular babysitter, I can fit it in 2-4 times a week. There are days I will do it at home because it’s just easier and I have a great yoga DVD that I love, however, I prefer going to the studio and hearing the constant ujjayi breath of my fellow yogis.
Yoga is a part of my life that I never want to give up. The benefits of yoga are countless, especially for moms. It continues to increase my flexibility, it strengthens my core, which is beneficial for carrying my little one, it continues to give me a longer, leaner body, which makes me feel and look good, and most importantly, it helps to calm my mind. So, I continue on my yoga journey while raising a baby. There are days when I feel that I am racing the clock and I just don’t have the time, but I take a deep breath and head to yoga class because I know I will be a better person when it’s over.