10 Ways Motherhood Changed My Yoga Practice

Yoga is a personal experience unique to each individual; it is always changing and evolving—even if we can’t feel it right away. It is an experience of constant growth, even if the changes are subtle, and just in our mind instead of our life circumstances.

Blogger Erica Rodefer tells us how one big life change of hers—becoming a mother—found its way into her yoga practice and changed that too. Yoga-practicing parents, this one’s for you!

  1. I no longer have a Buddha statue or candle at the front of my mat for an altar. Instead, I have a sleeping baby in a bouncy seat, who inevitably wakes up screaming several times during my 30-minute practice session.

  2. Asana sessions are interrupted several times by demands for attention, food, or the need to be rocked back to sleep.

  3. During those breaks, I often have to change out of my cute yoga top into something looser so I can nurse. Poses that require me to lie on my belly still feel horrible, so I modify or skip those altogether.

  4. I look up and say “Boo!” almost every time I find my way into Cobra or Upward Facing Dog.

  5. My dog Penny, who will take every opportunity she can get to cuddle now that I almost always have a baby in my arms, comes running to practice with me. She licks my face every time I take Downward Dog and lies down on my calves for the seconds I’m in Cobra or Up Dog. I stop to pet her every time.

  6. Thirty minutes of uninterrupted practice is cause for a celebration. If I make it through, I’m elated for the rest of the day.

  7. I know yoga isn’t about the poses. I’ve known this for a very long time, but deep down it still has been a little bit about poses for me. No longer! I practice because it feels good to do something for myself. It feels good in my body and for my spirit. I also want to be a role model for my little to girl—I want her to grow up seeing the importance of self-care. For the first time in 10 years of practicing yoga, I really don’t give a flying flip what I look like or what poses I can accomplish.

  8. My yoga mat doubles as padding for Tummy Time. I put a blanket down, too, to avoid getting drool all over it. This is when I get in my forward folds. (Penny licks me in the face then, too.)

  9. Any activity is fair game for a quick meditation session: the shower, an evening stroll through my neighborhood, holding a sleeping baby (who refuses to sleep anywhere other than my arms)… I just take 10 deep, mindful breaths. That totally counts, right? 

  10. Savasana… I remember that! 

erica rodefer for yoga u online.comErica Rodefer is a writer and yoga teacher living in Charleston, SC. As the former online editor for Yoga Journal magazine, she lived and breathed yoga at work and at home. She practiced with amazing teachers every day, went to yoga conferences, and had a supportive environment to live her yoga. Now, she’s trying to navigate yoga in the real world, and blogs about her journey to find contentment and live in the present, no matter what. Her loves include yoga, writing, crafting, her cat Gracey, and her dog Penny.

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