By Alicia Wozniak
I wasn’t sure it was going to ever happen.
I started practicing yoga over the summer. Weez, my daughter, was with her dad out of state; I had a lot of extra time. I made the error of scheduling too much to do while she was away for the summer. I panicked thinking I’d have too much down time.
So, I got another part-time job, took on a paid editing project, kept up with my unpaid editing gig, continued teaching Zumba four times a week, plus my full-time job—basically I worked all of June and through most of July. Mid-month I was tired, and I hadn’t spent much time with family or friends.
This summer, that won’t happen again.
Yoga, however, gave me the break from being in charge. I’m in control over every momemt of my life. As we all of know, that can be exhausting. Giving myself a break and attending hour long classes each day someone else lead, maybe a few in one day, was exactly what my restless, stretched too thin soul needed.
Quiet, breathing, stretching, centering.
I gave up yoga once Weez returned. My full-time job didn’t allow for much away time during the day and already teaching four classes in the evenings meant being away from home when she was home, or dragging her with me more.
I couldn’t do that.
I couldn’t continue with classes; or at least I thought I couldn’t. She’s getting close to her teen years. She’ll soon have her own social schedule, plus sports and homework.
My professional life allows me to available to her when she needs me. She won’t always need me, I fear.
I went back to yoga over Christmas break. Weez was visiting her dad again which opened up my schedule for a little over a week. I got back into the groove of breathing, centering, letting someone else lead. I missed class. I’ve been able to stay with my practice thanks to a promotion that gives me a lot more flexibility with my schedule.
Life is good.
Recently in-between projects, I was able to go to Power Yoga II. Now, I haven’t yet mastered Gentle or Hatha, or even being able to loosen my hips enough to lay my legs flat when sitting criss-cross. My lower back still wants to curve instead of allowing me to sit up straight, shoulders rolled down away from my ears.
That whole orange, sacral, emotional charka area is a knot, physically and metaphysically.
Attempting Power Yoga II has its challenges. I don’t have great balance yet. My arms, legs and core aren’t as strong as I once thought, but I’m getting there. I was tired and feeling pretty at peace when we relaxed into savasana. The teacher told us to breathe and release whatever was on our minds, come back to our breath.
I rested my hands in a triangle over my bellybutton so I would remember to breathe through my belly, not my chest. My thoughts drifted to different people, back to my focus of being present.
I was completely interrupted by myself roaring, “I’m a good mom!”
Visually I saw all this commotion going on in the background of my thoughts, and there I stood staring back at myself bringing me back to what matters. Tears rolled down the sides of my face, my breath stuttered, I was moments away from a full sob when we were told to sit up, inhale, exhale.
Hands to heart center. Namaste.
I’ve read countless articles about those moments in class. Those truest moments in yoga when we’re brought back to center. When the truth of what matters is directly in front of us. I’ve gotten weepy in classes, but not like this. I was one word away from holding group therapy had anyone spoken to me. I avoided eye contact with everyone.
That day, that moment, mattered—a lot.
I allowed myself to sob in the car, at home, on and off throughout the day. It was a huge release. Maybe my sacral chakra opened up just a little.
Though Weez won’t always need me to do things for her, nor will she always want to do things with me, she will always need me. I can let that fear go.
I’m her mom. I am a good mom, too.
Editor: Dana Gornall