Today we're meeting Dora, mum of two boys living in London. She tells us how Yoga became part of her routine after her second baby was born.
I have been practising yoga almost every day (even if it is for 10 minutes) for the past year now and I came to a simple realisation “why didn’t I start it earlier?”. I was always an active person. Triathlon/ spinning/circuit training was my preferred types of exercises. After giving birth to my second baby naturally, I realised that my body needs something that is a bit less demanding. Not as intense as these aerobic and cardio movements so I gave yoga a go and I that was one of the best decision I have ever made not just for my body but for my mind.
#1 The outfit. I love that I can wear whatever I want. The main thing that is has to be comfortable which usually the case since I am pottering around the house with the kids all day. But also, the fact that I don’t need to change into any lycra stretchy pants and heavy duty bras to keep the boobs in place. I can even practise in my PJs which I often (almost all the time) do.
#2 The breathing. I used to do fast-paced cardio exercises. Although I used to love them I always felt out of breath mainly not focusing on my breathing enough and working on that “let’s get that heart pounding” goal. With yoga, it is more about moving with the breath. My main focus is about breathing and then about the movement till is becomes natural. I hold the position and breath. It is such a calm and controlled movement I absolutely love it, especially as I get more used to it.
#3 The location. Wherever I want to. In our front room / In the kitchen / our garden / my dad’s garden. There is no limit. You just need a little space and a matt – but in the garden, you don’t even need that. I feel I don’t need to attend any fancy classes to be able to practise. Although I love a good class, at home at my own pace and my own mind is the best.
#4 The pace. Moving at my own pace. There are no 10 push up of this and 5 minutes of that. It is all about me and how I move with my breath and what my body needs. Although I do use YouTube videos sometimes to check back on flows and movements, I started to do my own practice and have fun with that. It is so freeing and relaxing. It helps me to slow down and take time out from my busy life to self-care. To give a place (on a mat) where I can just be. Where there is no to-do lists or meal planning or beeping phones around.
#5 The Journey. Learning the basics / practise those and then just enjoy it. I am at the stage (early) where I feel I want to perfect in the handful of poses I know. I watched most of the Foundation of Yoga with Adriene and attended a few yoga classes to make sure the poses I do know, I hold correctly. Since then, I haven’t tried anything new. I just want to practise those until I am happy to move on.
#6 My body. It feels good. I didn’t lose any weight due to my yoga practice (I don’t think at least – haven’t stepped on a scale for ages) and my sleeping improved. I have days after days with only a little sleep due to my kids but my body still feels fine (ish). I am 34 and I could blame it on genetics but I know my body and I know it feels so much better since practising yoga.
#7 My mind. I am not getting upset because I am not doing it right. I am not talking about the poses itself (I hope I kind of getting there doing them right – for my own abilities at least) but for my mind. I am not great at meditation I must admit. I have never been the “let’s not think of anything now for 20 minutes” type of girl. I just can’t do it. My mind always wonders somewhere. BUT during practice, while focusing on my breath I do feel my thoughts if not stopping but slowing down. Focusing. For that 5 minutes or half an hour, I try to stay in the present as much as possible. I focus on my breath / the pose and my body. I love that I can use this mindfulness with the kids as well. Being present with them. Focus on what is happening. Although mediation is still to be perfected I already feel changes how I deal with the boys and generally things in life.
#8 The Imperfection. I feel it isn’t about perfection. I used to be a perfectionist (before kids) but recently I am just happy to be part of it and take as much as I can. My house is not perfect / my kids are not perfectly behaving all the time/ I am not a perfect girlfriend or a mother / I am not a perfect vegan or a perfect zero waster. So I don’t feel I need to be a perfect yoga pose holder either. I am trying my best and loving every stolen minute I can practise but I am not doing it to be perfect at this.
#9 No shoes. I know it is an odd one but if I could I would live in a country (Australia / Bali – ideally) where I can be barefoot all year around. I am not a huge fan of footwear which also means that from May till September I try to be shoeless as much as possible. Yoga allows me to be bare feet and it is the best. No shoes / no socks.
#10 The kids. I “can” do it with the boys around. Well, I will be interrupted for sure but it is still worth it. Finding 5 to 20 minutes (or do a 30 minutes practise flow in an hour) while I hope they can entertain themselves but also getting out of poses and fetching whatever they need or just to give them a cuddle before moving back to a new pose. It is part of it. Definitely not the most relaxing (find your inner peace – more like find that Lego piece) type of practice but who cares as long as it still feels good, my boys won’t stop me getting onto my matt.
Here are some helpful videos from Dora @mamoradiary to help you get started with Yoga.
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