The 8 Limbs of Yoga in Motherhood: The Ahhhsana

The third limb of yoga in the 8 Limbs of Yoga in Motherhood is Asana, or as we’ll call it here: Ahhhsana. This is the part of yoga that many of us know well; it’s often times what brought us to the mat in the first place. It’s the movement, the postures. It’s the opening and the closing, the expansion and the contraction of the body. And we call it the Ahhhsana because it should feel like that word sounds. It should nourish and rejuvenate and replenish and restore.

Motherhood is so demanding and so much is required of our bodies. We grow a human life, we expand to make room for that life to develop and mature, and then we bring that life into this world. We endure long days, sleepless nights and late night feedings. Then we find the strength to get up and do it all again the next day and the next. We pick babies up and put them down and pick them up and put them down. Then we pick them up again. We hold our little beings on our hips with one hand while we make dinner with the other hand. We open the stove with our foot and close the fridge with our shoulder. Our bodies become off balanced and stressed. We develop carpal tunnel syndrome and our posture goes downhill.

And during all of this, we often times put our own needs last. We focus so intently on our darling babies, our babies who almost always need something from us, and we put our own needs on hold. It’s so easy to say that we are being selfless in doing this, but are we? Is it really best for our families if our health declines? If we do not make ourselves a priority and take care of our physical bodies, we will one day find that we have less to give and share with those we love.

So welcome Ahhhsana into motherhood. Find time each day, even if it’s just for 5 minutes, to reach up high and bend down low, to twist your spine and extend your limbs. Open your heart and expand your ribcage. There is so much healing that happens when we connect with these postures and move through our Ahhhsanas.

Many mothers have so little time, and committing to a yoga practice can feel like a scary step to take. Make it small. Roll your mat out and keep it rolled out for an entire week. When you pass it, step onto it and hold one posture, just one. See how it feels. Touch your toes or hold a Warrior pose. See how it feels. And the next time you pass that mat, do it again. Come up into Cobra or balance into Tree pose. See how it feels. Maybe commit to one simple flow, perhaps a series of 5 postures. And bring your little one onto the mat with you. Let them crawl under you in downward facing dog and climb up your legs in chair pose. Make it fun and playful, and make it feel good. Enjoy your Ahhhsana.

Motherhood is hard and it takes a toll on our bodies. We are doing a disservice to everyone in our lives if we do not take the time to nourish, rejuvenate, replenish and restore these amazing bodies. So take the time, commit to a posture and then maybe another. Roll your mat out. This, mama, this is the first step.

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What to Expect from our Mom & Toddler Yoga & Music Classes

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times". These may be the first lines of the classic piece of literature, A Tale of Two Cities, but they could also be the title of a memoir describing daily life with a toddler. These little people are so darn fun and SO utterly exhausting! They seem to be here specifically to call us to dig into our deepest wells of peace, patience and forgiveness. There are moments, most likely at least once a day, when mothering a toddler when you say to yourself, "I have no idea how to do this" or "I am SO frustrated!" We get it. They are testing their boundaries. They are growing and changing at exponential rates and they are testing you constantly. 

Our team at Seed & Song gets it. We are in the midst of mothering toddlers. We are still trying to figure out how to not throw your own tantrum when dealing with your toddler's tantrum. This is exactly why we have created our Seed & Song Mom and Toddler class. We want to teach our toddlers how to speak, explore and play with others. Even more than this, we want to teach them how to be strong, how to find peace and patience within themselves, and how to be kind. We need this for ourselves too. Our toddler class is fast paced, full of amazing music, yoga (for mom too!), art, and play BUT at the heart of this class are the principles we know you are trying to live out and teach your child. We will be fostering a space to take a breath, be kind to our neighbors, and love each other.  

What yoga teaches us about duality and the importance of AND.

It’s inevitable. Duality shows up our lives through our emotions, nature, circumstance, energy and thoughts. Bringing a child into this world is both challenging and incredible, exhausting and euphoric. Stepping into motherhood is no different. In fact, parenting might be the most intense reflection of the highest highs and lowest lows.

Yoga is not the practice for maintaining the high, but rather oscillating between the two with grace and compassion. Practicing yoga does not make you a better mother, but rather gives you the tools to trust yourself.  

You need not choose between anything. You are a living, breathing, human caring for another living breathing human. There is an AND.  AND gives us permission to experience the [emotion, circumstance, environment, condition]. In the same moment you might be grateful for this little being AND frustrated that they don’t sleep, blessed with the gift of life AND stressed from daily demands, totally in love with your baby AND mourning your former freedom. These feelings carry information, offering awareness and opportunities for acceptance.  Damage happens when we deny our experience. You are not alone.

Power thoughts for coping with duality:

  1. This [emotion, circumstance, environment, condition] is temporary.

  2. Like nature, I am always changing, growing and molting. I give myself permission to release old identities to create way for new ones.

  3. I honor my spectrum of emotions as an emblem of being alive.

  4. I am not alone

Share about a time when you experienced an ‘AND’ in your life.