Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Schoolhouse Lessons

When I walked through the doors of School House Yoga for my first Mommy-and-Me class, I knew almost nothing about yoga, and even less about being a mommy. What I did know is that I needed to get out of the house, needed to heal my ravaged, weak body, and needed something to look forward to as I found my footing in the sometimes bleak world of raising a newborn. I started the class feeling out of place, and scared. Worried that I wouldn't be able to keep up. Nervous that my five week old daughter would cry the entire time. Fearful that this would be one more thing that would leave me feeling like an overwhelmed novice, in a sea of confident, together, mommies.

But I was welcomed. The pace was manageable. My daughter slept.

One hour in a steamy, dark studio had given me hope that maybe we could figure this thing out. Maybe being a mom wouldn't always be terrifying. Maybe things would just go right once in a while. I signed up for four more classes on the spot. And as Jen, the instructor asked for the information she needed- name, address, email- she gave me something I desperately needed. Reassurance. Comfort. Encouragement. She told me my daughter was beautiful, asked me her age, and blessed me with the simplest, most perfect words for me in that moment: "Isn't it so hard?"

Yes. Yes it was so hard. And knowing that someone else thought so, knowing that someone I saw as an expert had struggled too...that gave me hope.

As the weeks went on, Wednesday mornings became the bright spot of my week. No errands, nap, diaper blowouts, or sickness, would keep us from showing up to that calm-through-the-chaos room. We might have been late, we might have had to stop in the middle of class to rock, or eat, and we might have ended at least one practice with a giant spit up. But we made it.

And from that first class on, Jen remembered our names. She greeted us with a permanent, genuine smile. She coached us through movements. She reminded me to breathe. With her guidance, my body was strengthened, and my spirit was lifted.

It was in that class that I found strength I thought I had lost. It was in that class I gained confidence I didn't think could have. It was there that I fell into my role as a mama, and fell even more in love with my daughter. It was there that I got to stand on the other side of experience and be the one to gently and truthfully say to another (even newer) mom, "Isn't it so hard?"

I'm thankful for that class, that place, those mornings, and that Jen. Yoga stretched me, and gave me balance beyond what postures and poses can do. It helped me find the Mommy inside of me, and maintain the Me inside of "mommy".


  1. I love this. And I am proud of you. I think your honesty is going to bless people.

  2. You make me proud to be your mommie~ your journey
    for the last 4 months has been one at times, with potholes, one way streets, & closed roads, but the views from the mountain top have made it all worthwhile. I am so blessed to be able to be on the journey with you and YOUR little cub. It only gets more scenic! I promise! I love you! Mommie

  3. Beautiful. It's been an honor (yes, an honor) to read about your journey. You are an incredible writer...and even more importantly, an incredible mommy.