I went to yoga for the first time in a year…

I went to yoga on Saturday morning for the first time in over a year. It never felt good during pregnancy, but my youngest is now 3 months old and I’ve been feeling ready to get back at it.  Of course, this “process” started the night before…

Checking with the hubs to see if it was ok…The mental checklist of everything that I would need to have ready in the morning – my mat, yoga clothes (not hard since I pretty much live in them!), a clean towel, the right water-bottle, and not to mention, “Are my armpits even shaved?” “When was the last time I painted my toenails?” Please tell me I’m not the only one who feels the need to have pretty feet in yoga.

There’s also the praying that the little one sleeps relatively well so that I would have energy to pull myself out of bed before 7 am, and get him fully fed and happy so that slipping out the door would be easier.

Easier – Saturday mornings have honestly surprised me since motherhood. Before kids, I would have thought that every Saturday morning after kids would be ME TIME. I anticipated the need to escape, eagerly awaiting Saturday mornings that would be filled with yoga, with coffee, with whatever I wanted to do! But the truth is, Saturday mornings are precious family time. As I was slipping out the door my oldest was whimpering, “I need Mommy, I need Mommy, I need Mommy.”

Finally in the car, I thought “I did it!” and breathed a sigh of relief noting that I would actually make it on time, but floods of other emotions were washing over me. A little mommy guilt, quickly squelched by the numerous times I’ve told myself that guilt is a lie. We aren’t meant to live guilty. Sadness, recognizing that I would miss a few hours of together time. Was it right that I was taking this time for myself? Am I being selfish? Is this a waste of money? Should I just practice at home? Do I actually need to go or would my time be better spent on my husband and my kids? Confusion – why the heck do I have to have so many conflicting emotions??? This confused, back and forth, annoyed at myself, self-talk lasted the whole way to yoga.

One of my quirks is that for as long as I can remember I’ve used green lights – the actual physical stoplights, to guide my decision-making. When running alone in the wee hours of the morning I would chart my course by whichever way the light was green at an intersection, even if that meant a hill. I figured it was the Lord’s way of guiding me out of potentially dangerous blocks/parts of the city. Maybe He works through stoplights and maybe He doesn’t, but I do believe that He is sovereign over even these small things.

It was GREEN LIGHTS the entire way to yoga…yay! That doesn’t mean the emotions resolved themselves immediately, but it felt like a small confirmation, a voice whispering, “It’s ok…this is a good thing…take care of yourself too…go breathe, and most importantly, enjoy this time.”

After navigating the crowded lobby of the studio…which always feels nerve-wracking to me for some reason, I found a spot in the back of the room. “Should I be in the front?” “Should I stay in the back?” “Which location will I see the LEAST amount of people?” “Where will I have the LEAST amount of distraction?” Prone to distraction regardless, I finally decided it doesn’t really matter and I needed to just be there. I remembered the quote, “Where ever you are, be all there” (Jim Elliot).

A few minutes later while in child’s pose, the instructor asked us to “Acknowledge that it is a gift to be here.” I smiled to myself – actually, I grinned probably very noticeably – at this other mini confirmation.  It truly was a gift.

How about you? Kids or not, do you struggle to find and be ok with me time? I’d love to hear how you handle the emotions, and even how you build in “me time” that doesn’t breed guilt. Hugs friends!

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