CM: yoga: a personal persuit becomes a bonding experience

My newest piece on Connected Mom.

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After I had Gwen, I lost myself in motherhood a bit. There is no denying that you change, on a very profound level when you become a parent. After a year, I knew I had to do some work to find balance in my new life. I needed to make sure that I was caring for myself, and addressing my own needs, not just Gwen's. I started going out with girlfriends for occasional dinners, and started volunteering with a state park clean up once a month. About 9 months ago, I added yoga to my weekly routine, and it has quickly become one of the most crucial ways that I find balance in this mommy life of mine. I only attend a formal class once a week, but it is one night a week to focus solely on me, and my emotional, physical, and mental well-being.

This, and more amazingly gorgeous family yoga pictures, can be found here.
Recently though, I decided it might be fun to share what has become a passion of mine. Not that one night a week - that is still mine, and mine alone - but yoga in general. Gwen has shown a curiosity in this pursuit that keeps me out past her bedtime regularly, so when she asked me about it a few weeks ago, I decided to ask her if she wanted me to show her what yoga was. She was very excited about the prospect and quickly soaked up each position I showed her. At first, it was just something that she brought up sporadically, but once she started showing her school teachers different positions (her favorites are tree and wheel), I thought it was time to make this something more regular. I have a family yoga DVD in hand that I can't wait to show Gwen.

At first it seemed funny to me that something which brings me so much joy as a personal pursuit would be something that is such a joy to share with Gwen as well. Honestly though, when we love something we want to share it with the world, and that's what Gwen is to me. The benefits are numerous as well. Gwen's knowledge of my practice was important to me, because I want her to be aware from a young age that my physical health is a priority; I want physical activity and healthy pursuits to be a focus of hers. There is so much pressure on girls to look a certain way, but this has a different focus - feeling healthy. Our conversations are never about how I do this to fit into my pants, or so I don't get fat, since that is not at all what it is about; our conversations are about how yoga helps me to feel healthy, strong, and gives me more energy for other types of play.

As we continue to explore this passion, I hope Gwen will find, as I have, that she is becoming more in tune with and more aware of her body. I want her to be proud of what her body is capable of, and to understand that with practice and patience, that capability can grow.

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