Sunday, May 5, 2013

How Family Yoga Changed my Day (week, year, life)

This morning I woke up grumpy. Those of you that have spent morning time with me know I actually LOVE mornings. But not today. Eli has me up three times last night, each time from a DEEP sleep, for things that I began to resent.

Yes Eli.
Please put the covers back on me!
Do it yourself Honey-Bun.
(whining, sleepily) NOOOOO you do it for me!!
(Of course, I get up and do it). I'm back in bed in 60 seconds. Phew.
WHAT honey?
Please bring me some juice.
(I wait hoping he just goes back to sleep).
(now I have to go to the bathroom)
I'm in the potty Eli.
(WHHHHHHHINE) I want some juiiiiiiiiiiice.
In a minute
(I deliver said juice)
What's wrong Eli?
Please take my cup.
Just put it down.
Yes you can.
Good job.
Night Night
night night Eli.
I said goodnight Eli.
Night night - go to bed Eli.

Repeat this sequence three times between midnight and six am.

Needless to say, at 7:47 this morning, even though that would put me at 8.5 hours "in bed" I was groggy, puffy-eyed and just plain ol' worn out.

I picked up my iPhone and checked e-mail - maybe something uplifting came in overnight?? Humor? Good News? A lottery win? Nope, just stores sales, political surveys and petitions, and the like.

I got out of bed to get food (I was so damn hungry...see side note) and the newspaper - ah, one of my Sunday simple pleasures!

Chowing on a banana back in warm cozy bed (overcast and threatening to rain outside), I read through the comics (first, of course), checked out the sales flyers, tore my coupons and reviewed the real estate listings (sigh). But I was STILL grumpy. And STILL hungry.

Side note: to update, I'm struggling with trying to solve some IBS issues. But it's not the dairy-free/gluten-free diet that's been difficult. It's the inulin-free (which is in Udi's bread BTW), apple-free, soy-free, watermelon-free, bean-free, onion and garlic-free conditions of FODMAP that are making it hard to have food handy. It's also the lower abdominal discomfort that arises when I digress EVEN A LITTLE BIT (like soy milk in my tea?) I'm just frustrated by having to "over" manage what I eat and still feel powerless to what works and what does not.

Then Eli woke up, groggier than ever, and amidst noising whining and fussing, he appeared in my doorway, sleepy-eyed and adorable. However but I was so set on being grumpy about my lack of sleep that I didn't even appreciate his sweetness.

I want to get in the big beg Mommy
Go around to Dad's side, I scowled, trying to keep my space protected.

Bless Dad's heart, he lifted the 33.8 pound pajama clad bundle between us, only to have Eli fuss about not having the covers on him. Ugh I thought... how many seconds until he utters his usual morning demands about using the phone? I cringed as he asked "Does the phone have batteries? Can I watch Thomas videos on the phone?" and handed it over just to keep the quiet, unwavering from my surly demeanor even when he snuggled in and said "Thank you Mommy."

Ok, I thought, I have to break out of this....breath and connect. So I hugged Eli close, placed one hand on his heart, and reached the other over to his Dad's chest. I easily felt Eli's hummingbird heartbeat high in his chest, and tuned in to his Dad's warmth while I connected our three hearts.

Alas, this sweet moment was short-lived as the days responsibilities gnawed at me until I fell out of bed (literally) and got on my chores.
-Untangle the mass of plastic-ware and lids that we have amassed. Check.
-Fold rest of weekly laundry. Ignore.
-Eat a healthy breakfast. Fail (macaroons and a pot of tea had to suffice)
-Check e-mail for news about yoga classes, meeting time and various and sundry communique. Check.
-Shower. Check
-While showering, try to figure out how to remodel the entire upstairs and kitchen and rearrange the entire house. AIGH!!!! I can't take it.

My brain just wouldn't let go of that cloud of grump it had latched onto with cynical vigor. What was I going to do when I go to yoga class? I can't teach like this!

My 15 minute ride to the studio was steeped in anxiety as I left late and ended up being five minutes late to prepare for class (I'm supposed to get there 15 minutes before class to prep). Earlier parts of my life were plagued with tardiness, and I now absolutely LOATHE when I put myself in that situation.

But once inside the studio...something was starting to shift... slowly, and gently....

One family showed up as I walked in - a lovely mom and sweet 3 year old daughter who were my only students last week (and we had a blast). And then, another family - with two children. Newcomers! And another new family with two children. And a dear friend of mine who came to observe! Another family I knew and suddenly, there we were, six moms, six kids, a sweet little circle of mats, and I began...

Pretzel legs...sit up tall...take a deep breath... OOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMM

Class I must share was a wonder of childhood joy, yoga poses, family appreciation, energetic movement and loving support. Laurie Berkner, Elizabeth Mitchell...these were my yoga muses and the children my mentors. We rubbed each other's backs, we made imaginary peanut-butter-ice-cream-olive-strawberry-and-Taquis sandwiches on raisin bread and shared them on our body picnic tables, we pranced around like dinosaurs and we enjoyed ourselves. I smiled broadly not out of obligation or habit, but from deep sense of gratitude for what these families were giving ME: A renewed appreciation for family, for friendship, for YOGA.

At savasana time, after 40 minutes of movement, I turned down the lights, had the families lay down, and handed out my homemade yoga eye pillows and stuffed animals. With utter pleasure and reverence I gave each person (even the four month old baby) a quick and ever-mindful foot massage. My heart was full, my mood altered, and my tiredness GONE.

Maybe you've experienced something like this - a huge shift in energy where you didn't expect it, or when you needed it most. Yes, I guide yoga to make an income, but so much more importantly, I do this because it makes my life better. The income is the (dairy free) frosting on the proverbial (gluten free) cake!