How To Be A YogiMama At Home When You Can’t Make It To The Studio

As a woman who used to go to the yoga studio as many as five times per day to either teach or take a class, having my first child really threw me. My body was so fit and my mind so calm that I went into withdrawal for my alone time on the mat. For years I tried to figure out ways to still make it to the studio, to teach and not neglect my growing child. I even got certified in Itsy Bitsy Yoga, so I could bring my baby to yoga with me. I was a yoga-addict. It was years before I truly embraced the lifestyle of a YogiMama as I am presenting it here.

In this culture, we have a body obsession thing. Working out and keeping fit can be an addiction, though it’s not necessarily always a bad thing, as it keeps us healthy and our bodies strong. However, you’ve heard the saying “too much of a good thing”—yeah, even our well-intentioned yoga practices in the studio can turn into an obsession and actually do the opposite of what we are striving for—which is to give us health and a peaceful state of mind—especially if we can’t find peace without said practices.

When I went to yoga school in India it was after several years of daily, hardcore Vinyasa and hot yoga practice along with the Kundalini yoga that I was teaching in the mornings. I was excited to learn more and get stronger and understand more deeply, but when I arrived at school and the head of the university asked me of my previous yoga experiences he responded by telling me that he felt exhausted just listening to me. He hoped I would be able to relax during my time there and find yoga school to be like a retreat for me. Looking back, I have to laugh; he was right, I had been a yoga-maniac. But at the time I didn’t get it; I didn’t want to relax. I wanted deepen my practice, and deepen my practice I did. Just not in the way I had anticipated.

It was during my time at yoga school in India when I first realized that yoga was a state of mind. This was truly the most profound awareness I had during 4 months of daily immersion. And to this day, it is still the wisdom I embody which allows me to be a YogiMama at home with my kids, no matter what we are up to.

It’s true that yoga asanas help to stretch the body, to lengthen the spine, and to release trapped emotional traumas and blocks in the body. I love moving the body and definitely having years of mat time under my belt I can appreciate the magic of yoga in the studio and what it has done for my body as well as my mental and spiritual health. However, it has only been since becoming a mother and having to implement all the postures I learned in the studio –into my daily life—that I have truly realized myself to be a yogi.

Perhaps you have heard the sentiment that meditating in a cave, alone with yourself, is much easier than practicing a meditative attitude out in the world. It is this exact truth to which I am referring when I say you can be a YogiMama at home. In fact, if you can take your yoga out of the studio and practice the principles and awarenesses you gained on the mat in your daily life, then you have truly mastered yoga and are no longer simply a practitioner of the art. This is what we call “walking your talk.”

Parenting is a master-path; it demands that you are “on” 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 18 years minimum from the moment you give birth. Being a YogiMama means that you bring conscious awareness into your mothering, or in other words, you don’t just go on unconsciously repeating the behaviors and teachings of your parents—which have been passed along to you. Instead, you maintain third eye awareness, the observer mind, while you are engaging in every act of being a mom from breastfeeding to potty training, from their first bike ride to their last day of school and every move in between.

A YogiMama knows that every moment as a mother is an opportunity to deepen her practice, to be in meditation with her eyes open, to drop into whatever position she and her child find themselves, without judgment, to observe and to make it through with appreciation and gratitude.

Being a YogiMama is being present with what life is offering you as if it were the next instruction on the mat. To hold your balance, to increase in flexibility and to deepen the breath so as to not lose your stuff and freak out—the equivalent of falling flat on your face out of standing bow-pulling pose.

Don’t get me wrong: every day is not a perfect day, and there are lots of missed poses and plenty of shallow-breathing attempts at understanding what instruction is actually being given, but if only we can bring awareness back to the breath, again and again, back to the moment and reflect on the lesson, and gain the insight, find the joy, we have once again mastered the day as a YogiMama.

Awkward body positions could be the term coined for YogiMamas who are always finding themselves balancing in various poses due to whatever their child is demanding of them. Whether it’s learning to hold a squirming baby while showering or kissing the booboo of a bawling toddler while stirring spaghetti noodles and talking on the phone. YogiMamas are queens at doing it all and manifesting arms out of places they didn’t know they had them. This is where Mamas who are yogis too can begin to consciously realize that the postures they learned in the studio are only the beginning, that the body can do so much more, that it is required to do so much more, and there are so many other ways in which to stretch and become conscious of stretching.

The YogiMama is a yogi all the time—with or without a mat. She is OMmming while her child screams in the back seat because they dropped the quarter machine toy. She is plugging her ears while humming to herself as in Bhramari pranayama while bathing so that she can get a few moments of peace from the 5-year-old banging on the door demanding the iPad. She is curled up in child’s pose next to her baby awake at 3 a.m., just trying to get a little regenerative sleep in while remaining present for her child; and she is standing, legs spread wide apart, stretching her arms wide between the shopping cart in line at the grocery store and her 3-year-old grabbing for chocolate bars off the shelf while the baby in the cart tries to stand up and be relieved from the seated position.


Just Breathe.

YogiMama, you are doing great. Just remember, Yoga is a state of mind. It is the observer mind. Remain the witness and you are succeeding; drop attachment and you are mastering the art of the YogiMama. It’s a beautiful thing.