Ever-Changing Practice

yogaYoga is profoundly personal for each indiviudal. It affords opportunities for self-discovery and introspection. Perhaps the greatest part of a continuous yoga practice, is that it is ever-changing.

Yoga has been a part of my life for nearly eleven years now. Six years ago it became an even bigger part of my life when I was diagnosed with endometrisis and found relief with the help of Asana and Pranayama exercises. Five years ago, yoga again gained more importance in my life with the birth of my first child.

Yoga has made me more comfortable with my body and with my mind. It has taught me to appreciate silence. It has taught me compassion towards myself and others. Perhaps most importantly however, is that yoga has provided me with a way to continuously bond with my children.

When I was pregnant with both of my children I was mesmerized by, and completely consumed with the little life that was taking shape within my body. A tiny soul was depending on me for protection and nourishment. Pregnancy was exhausting and at times brutal, but it was so unlike anything else I have ever experienced; profound in nature.

I had never felt closer, more connected, or more bonded to anything in my entire life than I did to each of my children while carrying them. When each of them were born I remember trying to hold them as close as I could, adoring the way they seemed to burrow into my body as if they too were seeking the same closeness we had enjoyed for so many months before their arrival.

During my pregnancies prenatal yoga and meditation helped me to focus on the intense bond that I shared with my developing children. After their births I strived to find a way to hold onto that deep connection and continue nurturing the intense bond that we shared.

I turned once again to my beloved yoga practice to connect with my children. I found a deep connection, a profound bonding experience while wearing my infant wrapped comfortably against my chest as I practiced a gentle sequence. I loved the feeling of his sweet baby breath against my skin.  I found comfort in the way his hands found their way into the hair that hung down my shoulders, holding tightly to it as if it were the most precious of possessions. He became part of my practice, part of my meditation on motherhood.

As my daughter has grown from an infant, to a toddler, and now a kindergartner, she has developed an intense desire for independence. This is both something that I rejoice in and also something that brings a slight twinge of sadness as I struggle for a way to hold on to a physical connection with a child who no longer sits still long enough to hold. Now one way we make an effort to connect and enjoy each other’s presence is with a series of partner poses designed to make us focus and rely on each other.

With each new stage of my life, my yoga practice continues to evolve along with it. Including my children in my yoga practice has served to deepen my love of yoga even further than I could have ever imagined and has given me the honor of watching my children benefit from it as well.

This is perhaps why two of my favorite classes we offer and certainly my favorite to teach, are the Mommy & Me and Family classes. I want to share this way of bonding and this truly beautiful experience with other mothers as well.

No matter where you are in your practice, never stop growing! Yoga is a lifelong journey with endless lessons to learn, and boundless gifts to give.yoga1

Namaste.

-Jillian

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