Rewind 10 years ago if someone told me that they did yoga as an exercise regime I automatically assumed they had major issues, wanted to practice relaxation and breathing techniques, or were going through a hard time. I would always associate exercise with lots of sweating, high impact, full body training and yoga didn’t fit into that category.
About 18 months ago I hit a point in my life where I nearly lost my shit and the struggles of a husband working 2 jobs, almost single parenting a very demanding and literal 4 and 6 year old and trying to be a good mum too, and then on top of that trying to front up in my very busy corporate full time job, exercise, cook, clean, see friends, kids activities and birthday parties blah blah, all got the better of me.
Whilst a number of things needed addressing at the time one thing I knew for certain was that I needed to find time to look after my self, quickly!
My kids, husband, friends, family and work were all suffering because I was trying to be perfect at everything, and too damn proud to reach out for help, say no or tell anyone for fear of being viewed upon as a failure. I could not accept any washing in the dirty laundry basket, any un made beds, unwashed dishes, unread emails in my inbox and a quiet schedule on the weekends.
But sadly because of this I was failing miserably at everything and starting to hate the person I was becoming especially that person in front of my kids. I was constantly yelling, under pressure, stressed and tired, in fact my whole family was yelling and tired, I wasn’t seeing any of my extended family or friends and seriously disillusioned that any of this could be fixed.
People would often say to me they don’t know how I cope what I am doing, that I was amazing at what I did; I would just smile, put up that incredibly strong and resilient front, but I was actually crumbling inside.
I then found yoga. Or a mentor of mine suggested I needed to do something to improve my perception of what’s important “right now” not “later” and she suggested yoga to set my priorities. I am sure I didn’t really understand what she meant, but I listened.
She recommended that I see a beautiful lady Margaret who happened to practice at her home right around the corner from my work. Without really thinking I committed firstly to a few weekly sessions during my busy working day. One hour to myself, to only think about me seemed too good to be true.
Over a year later I really haven’t missed a session unless I am away for work or Margaret is travelling or away herself. We practice for an hour, it’s high intensity at times too (I burn 300 calories in any one hour session 😂), we chat a lot, and then she finishes with shavasana session following the theme of the practice and then a card reading (my favourite).
I love yoga and it’s part of who I am now. It gives me clarity, balance and helps me prioritise what’s really important. I am calmer and more attentive especially with the kids, and I don’t care for the little things, I don’t care that the beds are unmade when I get home (lie, I still care about that🤪) and everything can wait.
I try and be balanced in what I do and how I approach things as best as I can as at now or today, not tomorrow and not for anyone else. I sleep more and I rest more too. This is the constant struggle I think in everyone’s lives, things are busier and we all make them busier. Don’t get me wrong things are very often hard and a major struggle but I am approaching things far differently now and somehow able to handle the challenges a lot more easily.
One thing I hope you get out of reading this is that if you don’t look after yourself, what ever it is- going for walks, movies, exercise, meditation, and find time for yourself regularly, make it part of your diary, you cannot possibly be 100% to those around you. It’s a bit like the airlines when they demonstrate the emergency proceedure before takeoff; help yourself before you help others.