As a first time mom busy with kids, work and household chores, it was a little difficult to find the time to write this essay. Finally as I found some time and got myself settled in front of the desk, I started to reflect how yoga has been by my side from a young and crazy 23 years old to a 31-year-old mom.
There was no particular reason why I started doing yoga. I was young and didn’t have any pain or discomfort. I simply wanted to learn a useful skill. Looking back, I was quite impatient and moody. I was easily angered and my mouth always went off faster than my brain. I had hard time finding my place or value in life.
When I first started practice, I didn’t have much of a direction with my practice. My body just felt a sense of ease after each practice. Other than that, I didn’t feel any other particular benefits. But, slowly as I progressed, the biggest reward that I discovered was there was no “good” or “bad”. These were just all value judgments from the “ego”. Before I got married and became a mom things were simpler, but it still wasn’t so easy. And now there is the additional role of being a mother and even though I have a wonderful and deeper connection to my husband and child, but the who scene is more complicated, and my emotions gets more easily triggered. This I feel is the most challenging part for me.
From the beginning of only feeling a sense of ease in the body to discovering finally my fast talking mouth had slowed down. And now to the further discovery that mindset has changed: I am grateful to my parents for raising me and to all the good and bad things that happened along the way. They all shaped who I am today.
Meeting Patrick Creelman in 2012 was a turning point for me. Before my practice was more self-focused. What was most important for me was achievement. Studying with Patrick, I realized my mind needed to go back to square one, and observe my practice without expectations or emotional attachment. Knowing what the aim for today’s practice is and not just pointlessly practice or blindly challenge a difficult pose.
Maintain awareness, practice maintaining awareness, whether what arises is good or bad, it is all a part of the practice. Because it is all me!
Especially every time when I practice, as I prepare to enter into the world of self-challenges, can I remain my mindful and a peaceful mood? This is the time that waves get easily triggered. Just like in life, when we are about to lose that thread of rationale, can we still maintain the awareness to see behind the chaos and see where it got started. Maybe it was a misunderstanding. Maybe too many emotions were involved so everything felt like it is a suffering.
It is so difficult, but it is worth it. Hidden inside our body is our wisdom.
I’m very grateful to everyone who had played a role on my yogic journey. Teachers are important, but they will not always be with you. The person that comes back to the mat is still yourself. All the subtle changes and growth on the mat, only you can clearly know. You can’t feel everything is at peace and wonderful after practice, then started cursing because the clerk made a wrong drink, front desk reserved the wrong class, or your husband forget to wash the baby bottle. How you face the various situations in life reflects your practice. You can’t fake that.
Becoming a mom this year, my life gained a huge challenge. I’m still on the path. Let’s all forge ahead together!