By Guest Blogger: Randi Lynn Greene
I remember a time in my life when I could (and sometimes would) spend hours a day on my mat. A time when finding my balance meant figuring out how to stay upside down just a little bit longer every day. My flows were creative, my core insanely strong, and my time plentiful. I was what some might call a #yogagirl.
Fast forward to present day. I now have a one-year-old son who is everywhere and into everything. I have multiple businesses I run from home and housework that isn’t just going to do itself. Some days I feel overwhelmed by it all. I wonder how I’m going to get everything done, take care of my child, and still find time to move my body.
Motherhood definitely requires a certain amount of flexibility, and no, I’m not talking about being able to put my foot behind my head. It requires changing plans at the drop of a dime and finding other ways of doing things that were once a no-brainer. For me, figuring out how to fit my yoga practice and workouts into my new role as a mother was a priority. My flows may not look like they used to and my workouts may not be as long, but I’m finally starting to find my balance again. So, what have I learned over the past year + of being a #yogamom?
Some movement is better than none
Once upon a time, I believed the only way a workout “counted” as if I poured sweat or stayed on my mat for at least an hour. I know, crazy right? Whether you’re a mom, student, businesswoman, or just a lady with a whole lot going on, I’m going to let you in on a little secret I wish I had learned years ago: you do not have to exercise for an hour + in order to feel good and achieve the results you’re working towards! Since becoming a mother, I’ve learned that your days don’t always go as planned. Some days your child naps for three hours, other days he boycotts his naps all together. You can plan all you’d like for an hour-long workout or flow, but when your child wants your attention, needs to eat, or isn’t feeling well, you’re most likely going to drop everything to be there for him.
This is exactly what I meant about being flexible! My first few months of motherhood, I would get frustrated when my hour-long workout was cut short. I felt like the time I had already spent moving my body didn’t mean anything because I never technically “finished.” These days, my workouts and flows usually last around 20-40 minutes, and guess what? I am more than okay with that because regardless of how long I’m able to move my body, I always feel better afterward.
It doesn’t matter how you move, it just matters that you move!
Raise your hand if you’ve ever said: “I don’t feel like lifting, running, going to CrossFit, doing yoga, or working out today." Chances are, at some point or another, you’ve probably had a day where you just weren’t 'feeling it'. You knew you wanted (and needed) to move your body, but you were tired, sore, you just didn’t feel like it, or whatever the reason, the thought of doing the said workout just sounded like a terrible idea.
So what did you do? Did you power through and force yourself to do it or did you say the heck with it all together? What if I told you there was another option? On any given day, your mind and body crave different types of movement, so what better way to respond than to provide what they need. If you’re tired, sore, and dreading lifting weights, don’t! Do a yoga flow, go for a walk, or turn on some music and dance around like a fool. Move your body in a way that feels good to you! Some days I get on my mat and flow, other days I get nice and sweaty with interval style training or by busting a move. Once I realized the most important thing is that I move my body, regardless of how my whole mentality about exercising changed. It went from something I felt like I needed to do, to something I actually wanted to do.
So what’s the best type of exercise for YOU? The kind that you enjoy doing! Maybe it’s something different every day or maybe it’s the same thing. Whatever it is that gets you moving…do it!
What’s a #yogamom without her #yogababy?
The only time my son slows down is when he’s asleep! If I don’t get on my mat while he’s napping, then I am fully prepared to have my little workout buddy by my side or climbing on top of me when it comes time to get moving.
To some, this may not seem like the ideal situation, but for me, I love it. I love watching him bounce up and down when the music comes on or try to copy me in a downward facing dog. When he gets fussy and wants my attention, I don’t mind picking him up and holding him while I do some squats.
He isn’t going to be this little forever. There’s no better time than now to start introducing yoga and exercise into your child’s life. Pull out a mat next to yours and let him share this experience and have fun moving with your mini by your side!
It’s okay to take days off (planned or unplanned).
Some days I wake up with every intention to move my body at some point during the day, but then 7:00 p.m rolls around and I still haven’t done half of what I planned that day. I did, however, knock out a bunch of emails, do a few loads of laundry, cook a yummy dinner, read book after book to my son, chase him around outside, and give him a ridiculous amount of hugs and kisses. Sure I would’ve loved to get on my mat and sweat a bit, but I’ve learned to stop beating myself up over missed workouts.
You need those days when you can focus solely on your child, significant other, housework, business matters, family, and friends without having to worry “when am I going to be able to fit this workout in?” , I can say with absolute certainty that years from now when I look back at my life, I won’t remember any of the workouts I missed, but what I will remember is the time I spent loving on my little one.
Motherhood is the most challenging, best thing I’ve ever done. Though it’s not always easy, it is 100% ALWAYS worth it. I thought I knew a lot about balance before my son came along when I was merely a #yogagirl. What I didn’t know, is that becoming a #yogamom would teach me about a whole new kind of balance. The kind of balance that you just can’t learn about from taking a yoga class.
About the Author
Randi Greene is a 200 hour certified yoga instructor, fitness enthusiast, and creator of Wild Spirit Yoga Camp and RLG Fitness Online. Randi encourages others to move their body in a way that feels good to them. Her virtual fitness studio provides an easily accessible, convenient option for those who just can't seem to find enough hours in the day. Find her on Instagram and her website.