The Yoga of Parenting

As I sit in front of my computer with our baby in my wrap all nestled to me, I feel so much gratitude for this most epic gift. In the last 7 weeks I have not stepped foot in a yoga studio. I felt a bit worried by this, then the voice of my teacher Malachi echoed in my ear, and I realized that in this moment the art of parenting IS my Yoga practice.

While I have the opportunity to stay home with our baby I want to be as present as possible for him. So he feels safe, loved and nurtured. As my wonderfully brilliant teacher Malachi often states in her classes, PRESENCE is the real Yoga.

I recently went to a workshop by Malachi on the “Yoga of Parenting” as seen through the Yamas, which represent a series of “right living” or ethical rules within Yoga. We went on a spiritual inquiry on how these relate to parenting. Learning how to navigate the Yamas is imperative. In fact THIS IS our daily practice, not just the Asanas or the physical postures.

Here are the Yamas below. As you go through them, think about how you may or may not be practicing these in your life or as a parent. These tenants relate to thought, word and deeds/actions:

  • Ahimsa – Non-harming or Non-violence toward the Self or Others
  • Satva – Truthfulness to oneself, speaking one’s truth or with others
  • Asteya – Non Steailng (of time, present awareness, materials)
  • Brahmacharya – Reserving one’s energy, not leaking one’s energy (with Facebook for example, or not taking care of oneself)
  • Aparigraha – Non-greed or possessiveness

It was an excellent exercise to recognize where we fall asleep and where we are most aware.

We are not always very conscious, in fact as research proves only about 5-10% of the time are we operating from that space. So we need to really dig deep and find those neural pathways that are in need of change and actively work on developing new ones through our practice of Kriya Yoga: Tapas (discipline), Svadhyaya (self-study and study of spiritual texts) and Ishvara Pranidhana (devotion or surrender to God or a higher power).

As I recently read on a blog called Yoga Basics, “life presents an endless opportunity to learn about ourselves; our flaws and weaknesses give us the opportunity to grow and our mistakes allow us to learn. Examining our actions becomes a mirror to see our conscious and unconscious motives, thoughts, and desires more clearly.”

Our kids are a sponge and a pure, clear mirror. Parenting is one of the highest forms of Yoga.

Many blessings for this 2016!

May your heart be filled with peace and joy.