“MOMMY GO YOGA?”
Lisa Stowe is a yogi, economist and mom who is as graceful with her arm balances as she is analyzing financial markets and juggling two young children. THE BALANCE SHEET will offer her perspective on integrating and benefiting from a consistent yoga practice amidst the hectic reality of family, work, and home.
“Mommy go yoga?”, Elliot, my almost 3-year-old, has been known to sweetly inquire. He asks it of Daddy, of Grandma, and even of his big brother, 5 ½ year old Daniel. Whenever I am out of the apartment, my boys’ initial assumption is that I am om-ing away at Mala. Every Tuesday, Daniel and Elliot know that it is Daddy who will be the first one to get home, since I will be at yoga. To my husband and kids, it is built into the family routine that a couple of times a week, I shrink-wrap myself in spandex, roll out my mat, and practice.
Making space for a yoga practice is challenging for everyone; having a husband and 2 small humans at home and a full-time job only adds to the challenge. It requires a lot of compromise. Do I get drinks with co-workers or go to an evening yoga class? Do I miss bedtime for the second day in a row to catch class at the studio, or do I roll out my mat for home practice after I put the kids to bed? Do I go on a family vacation or do I save those funds for a yoga retreat?
As our lives become filled up with partners, children, homes, and work, carving out space for yoga can sometimes feel indulgent when compared with more pressing pursuits. But is it indulgent? Is it a nice-to-have hobby that fits in when circumstances permit? Or is it something more?
Yoga is nice-to-have, and for me, it has become a need-to-have element of my life. My yoga practice cultivates balance in garudasana and in my daily life. My mat provides me with a physical space to work out kinks in my body and a place to smooth out mental kinks and frustrations. And most importantly, my yoga practice gives me an outlet to just be me. The Mala community does not know me as a mom, as a wife, or as an economist – they know me as Lisa. There, I am not the one who fixes snacks and analyzes money markets; I am the one who obsessively organizes the prop closet and requests arm balances.
So are the compromises worth it? Do the benefits of catching up with myself outweigh the costs of missing pre-bedtime reading with the boys on Tuesday nights? Definitely.
And to your question Elliot – yes, Mommy go yoga. But she’ll be home to read before bedtime on Wednesday.