Mama needs a yoga practice


Matching my outfits to my lunch (here, curried cabbage soup) is a great start to helping my body reach its full physical expression, but it’s not enough. I need to do yoga.

My body has brought it to my attention that it is feeling a tad undervalued. In the mind-body-spirit enterprise known as Emily, body has asked for a raise.

Yes, the organization that is Emily may have a committed meditation practice (raja yoga), which my entire being relishes, but my good ole fashioned physical body is requesting a promotion. In the form of purposeful exercise. Not boot camp. Not weight lifting. Not high-intensity training. Not swimming (my old sport). Not jogging. My body has put in a specific request for hatha yoga.

Ok, body wants yoga. Do yoga. Easy enough, right? Nope. It’s something of a logistical nightmare.

There are excellent yoga classes at my gym, which would be perfect if I could get there. It’s a likely story, but it’s just really hard for me to make it to classes. Here’s why:

a.) It’s been a horrendous flu season in Chicago and at least one of the three of us (Charlie, Kip, me) has been sick for months. (snotty kids = totally uncool to drop them off in gym nursery = mama misses vinyasa)

b.) I’ve got one son, possibly two sons, whose inner peace depends on simplicity of schedule (to oversimplify it), so getting in and out of the car and various buildings several times a day really pushes his limits.

c.)  No, seriously. I’m not making this up. It gets patently crazy in my world when I don’t keep a steady family rhythm and, if it seems like rushing out the door too many times a particular day might drive my finely tuned fella to overstimulation-town, it’s not worth it to me to make that yoga class. (Except, of course, when it is worth it. But, thankfully, it’s rarely so dire.)

Last night after meditating, as I checked in with myself—a board meeting of sorts—I noticed I’m neglecting a part of me that’s alive and ravenous:  My body wants to move, and move with intention.

ASIDE: It’s not that I’m not physically active. I probably spend a cumulative 30 minutes a day racing in a circle around the first floor of our home, I bounce around the tumbling mats in our basement like a kangaroo for another 10 minutes and sprint-chase kids down our sidewalk for five more. I easily do a hundred squats a day, blowing noses, giving kisses, wiping spills, nuzzling dogs, putting on shoes, picking up toys, etc., and I get in a few reps of bicep curls lifting those 30- and 40-pounders off the ground all day long. Then there are the vigorous dance parties that crop up a few times a week…

However, despite my general activity level, what I’m missing is a dedicated time for strengthening, stretching and communing with my physical body. So, I’m out to uncover new ways to fit in yoga for myself while keeping things slow and steady for the boys.

I can’t imagine staving off kids and dogs for more than 15 minutes in the morning, so I need a framework in which to tune in with my body, get the oxygen flowing and move some energy around in that time frame. I want to raise my pulse, enhance my body awareness (the healthy kind) and give my body the chance to experience a fuller expression of itself. Can I accomplish this in 15 minutes a day? At least to start? With what series of asanas? Devising an action plan to make my body feel like a valued member of Team Emily, this is my new project.

9 thoughts on “Mama needs a yoga practice

  1. I love your blog! Thanks for sharing! I need to know more about this curry shirt matching soup. You’ve peaked my intrust.

  2. Yo Em! Love the blog! Love the post! I am in need also. Let’s chat it up soon. I would be happy to bring over my yoga tapes or even babysit while you get your yoga on! Get it girl! xoxo

    • Ha. I would love to see you bring over some VHS tapes. Thanks so, so much for reading and for the offer of playing with the kids while I get my yoga on. I will be setting up a chat-it-up time with you soon. Can’t wait to catch up with you, and gleen some of your Erin Pot Pie genius. I so, so love your blog.

  3. This is erin jowett btw! And I don’t know why I said tapes. They are DVD’s. 🙂

  4. I have downloaded some classes from Most of the classes that are 20 minutes or less are free. They download, not stream, so you can put them on your ipod and listen with headphones so you don’t disturb, say, sleeping kids. It would also mean you could buy a couple of longer workouts if the kids are sleeping or something.

    As for getting to a studio, should that ever happen: Imagine yoga studio is not far from you, in Rogers Park; the classes there are all only an hour, so it’s not the huge 1-1/2 hour commitment of other studios. Also, classes are only $10. I have a pecking order of instructors, but all of them are at least OK.

    Another place that may be worth looking into is the Core Power Yoga in Lincoln Square. It’s in a little strip mall on Lawrence just east of Western. There is also a kid’s playroom in that strip mall called Pickle’s Playroom. I know it could get expensive, but you could drop the kid’s off seriously right next door in a class and then go take a yoga class at Core Power. The Core Power classes are also only an hour long, so it’s not such a long commitment.

    Good luck! Let me know if you want to sneak away to a candlelight class some night.

    • Kristi! So amazing to hear from you. Thanks for the awesome ideas. a.) Imagine and yogadownload sound great. Totally logging on to that site tonight. b.) I’ve seen Core Power Yoga and had no idea I could drop the boys at Pickle’s Playroom if I wanted. (wow!) c.) A candlelight class sounds absolutely amazing. Yes!

  5. is a great site. There is a 15 day trial and after that does have a cost. I have had instructors suggest it as a back up. Good luck sister, namaste

  6. Pingback: My inversion conversion, or I awkwardly ease into hatha yoga « emily en route

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