How becoming a dog, cat, cow and warrior made me a better mom.

Brooke Halperin Low Res48

I’m not talking about role playing in the bedroom or playing dress up with my kids.  I’m talking about getting down and dirty as a yogi. I am obsessed with yoga. I’m hooked on the way it makes me feel mentally, physically and emotionally. It provides a serene high that I’m pretty sure can’t be bottled and sold in any dirty dank alley.

I first discovered yoga during fertility treatments when my doctor wanted me to slow down and “take it easy” from usual exercise routines. So I gave it a try. It turned out to be just what I needed then and during many other times along my mommy path the last five years. I’ve come to practice and study on a regular basis, at home in the early kid-less morning hours and a Thursday evening class each week.

Yoga has played a key role in loving and accepting my body, even the twin skin I carry (what the hell is twin skin? Read this). Throughout my teens and early twenties I had the tendency to mistreat my body with a low calorie diet and a rigorous workout regimen. It wasn’t until the age of 26 that I started practicing yoga on a regular basis and came to embrace my body for all it was.

My practice carried through my pregnancies. My babies rolling inside me as I eased my mind and body through the flow of breath and movement. My OB encouraged my practice and said it would provide grounding for an easy delivery. Her prediction proved true as I was able to have all three babies quickly and naturally. I believe yoga was a big part of that.

Postpartum, yoga poses healed my body, strengthened my limbs for the caring of a newborn and gave my mind peaceful refuge from long nights and early mornings of being a mommy.  Having this release has always kept my mind and heart in balance. Being in balance allows for my interactions with my kids to be loving and calm even faced with a shitty Wednesday or epic meltdowns.

Being a mommy of three, I am an easy target for tension headaches. As my husband can attest, these headaches make me somewhat of a psycho.  For me these headaches start at my back and radiate through my neck into my head. I can’t even think straight. As I’ve researched it turns out that we all carry our stress in our hips. When I started working on the release and yoga poses to work the hips, the headaches eased away and so did bitchy mommy.

During yoga, the strength I feel in each of my muscles and through my mind radiates through my whole being leaving me humming for days afterward. My personality is always on overdrive, always needs to be kept busy. This hum brings me back to earth and allows me to live more slowly and fully with my family.

If you’re a worn out, stressed out, psychotic mommy and you’ve never tried yoga or have only slightly dabbled, I encourage you to give it a full hearted whirl. It doesn’t matter your shape, size, age or class anyone can do it. Even my husband will hit the mat with me sometimes (maybe for hidden agenda reasons 🙂 but he does anyhow).

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