This past week I had two women tell me how inspiring I am as both a mother and a business woman. One of these women told me that after we met last week, she went home to tell her husband that she could finally envision them having children after meeting me at an event. I had brought Zyan with me and he was nursing under a scarf while I was being a girlboss and running around making sure everything was in line.
These comments make my heart melt and I am so incredibly blessed that I am looked to as a role model. I love my life, every single moment of it (even the not so great moments) and it makes me smile from the liver to know that my love is not only seen but also used as inspiration.
But I’ll be honest: it’s not always easy.
There are days when I have written 30 emails, picked up new products for the Shala, re-written contracts, created blog content and held two business meetings all with my little dude by my side. I love having him with me when I write or meet someone to coordinate over a cup of coffee. I created the Shala and this blog in order to have a flexible lifestyle and still work while raising my son. I eat up every moment with him and yet I thrive when I work and create: it’s the perfect balance.
As with all things balance, sometimes one aspect is out of line that needs to tilt back into focus. The laundry isn’t always done correctly or on time, the trash needs to be taken out, a poopsploxion occurs and Apollo is begging for a snuggle. The days Apollo makes it to daycare, I might forget to brush my teeth before leaving the house. The days I teach, I may not have given Zyan enough kisses before I left for work. Or maybe I haven’t swept the floor in days (and when you have a dog, it looks like it’s been months). There are many days I forget to make my husband dinner because I forget to eat myself before he arrives home late in the evening from work.
Balance is an illusion. There is never a perfect triangle but yet it is something we strive for with every breath. Yoga helps me to create more of a mind, body, soul connection and I know that when one is out of line, I need to draw energy back into that space.
This week in our beginner series, I worked on backbends. It is my second favorite week (I have a love affair with the hips). As we connect and talk about the heart chakra (anahata), energy and the mind/heart connection (known as hridaya) I make sure to leave room for forward folds at the end of practice. Part of this reason is purely physical: when you open the heart and bend your back, you need to counter stretch through the hamstrings to find physical balance in the body. However this is also done to save a little heart for yourself. The way I described it to my students was this: we need to open our hearts to give and receive love, but we also need to savor a little love for ourselves.
Ahimsa is the act of non-violence and I always translate this to mean self-love and the idea of letting go of our egos. In a workshop this week I was asked to think of HIMSA, an act of violence towards myself or something that made my heart hurt. In turn I was then asked to breathe light into this memory, allowing it to become AHIMSA as I created space for more love.
By folding our bodies forward again after a 75 minute flow concentrating on the heart, we were able to find balance in our mind, body and soul. When we spend too much time on one aspect of our lives, oftentimes this means we are not spending enough time in our counterpose.
This weekend I am taking time away with my husband as my son and fur child get to play with their grandparents. It’s what I am doing in this moment to find balance in my life. Every single day I work towards becoming more balanced and it is always a juggling act, a constant vinyasa wave. I am 100% in my element at the moment as a new mom, teacher and business owner, but I still strive for balance daily. It is a practice as with all of yoga and one we can never truly master, but rather we can try our best and know that imperfect love and effort is just as beautiful as a balanced life. I love having a poopy diaper-filled laughing son on my heart, a puppy on my feet and my hubby right alongside me as I write emails to my students and teachers with a messy bun and a shirt full of spit up. It’s messy and it’s beautiful. It’s exactly where I’m supposed to be in this moment: flawed, messy, beautiful and striving for the glimpse of a moment in balance.
I am so grateful that I get to live this life and give back to my community with teaching, writing and inspiring, but please know that not every moment is perfect. I hope you’re adding in a little ahimsa and self-love to each moment you work towards balance. It’s not always easy or pretty, but it’s always real and should have more love infused into each breath you take.
Sending you so much love yogis!
Thank you, Jenny. This is a beautiful reminder to seek balance with gentleness toward self.