I was leaving work and trying to fight traffic to make it to daycare on time and thinking about how my yoga practice has been – not paused – but moving at a much slower pace lately. Between kid #1 and kid #2, I was making some progress on incorporating postures from ashtanga second series. I was building up some muscle in my shoulders and back to find stability in pincha mayurasana. I’m not sure I’ve gotten back to my pre-kids flexibility, but I was finding more openness in my back and in my chest.
Obviously, during pregnancy, I had to abandon certain asanas and really be mindful of my energy level. I didn’t want to pull anything, knowing that relaxin hormones made everything a little loosey goosey. I was forced to have to slow down, and I accepted my body’s state of being with grace. And then after I had each of my kids, I still had to take it easy in those postnatal classes and getting back into ashtanga since my body had to recover.
Having been through it twice, I really took great care in listening to my body and pacing myself. The ego is a big thing to fight, and as much as I wanted to get right back to where I left off, I knew it was silly and dangerous to do so immediately. I accepted that I had to be happy with my practice exactly where it was, and I know one day when the boys become more independent, I’ll have more time and energy to advance my practice once again. Yoga is a lifelong journey, and I’m trying to remember that my practice will be ongoing.
With all that said, why is it so hard to have the same approach in my career? I’ve mentioned it before that I’ve struggled a lot with coming to terms with working and being a good parent at the same time. I want to do both at 100% so badly, and maybe that’s the ego part of me talking. As much as I want to say YES to all opportunities put before me, I have a harder time learning to say no. It actually pains me when I have to say no to something I want to do or try.
It’s hard not to compare my career path to my colleagues, especially ones from previous jobs. I feel envious that the childless ones are moving to other fun cities for big promotions and traveling around the world. I feel disappointed in myself that I’m not as far along in my career as people who got a later start. These are the same feelings I get when I see my fellow yogis making progress on inversions and pretzel moves while I struggle. And perhaps the reasons for their growth and my (slower) growth are the same: They are putting in more hours than me in the office or on the mat.
At the same time, I don’t want to shortchange myself. In these years of slower growth, I made these two amazing kiddos who make me laugh and cry. They give the BEST hugs. We get to goof around. I get to come home to THIS every single day.
And I can show them what a hardworking mom looks like. I get to be that strong woman figure in their lives.
When I go to the office, I can show my colleagues what a hardworking mom looks like too. A strong woman figure who doesn’t let the weight of both responsibilities crush me because I have enough in me to say no when I need to. My career will be long and steady like my yoga journey. It may meander or stay on a linear path. As long as I’m growing at the pace my life tells me I can and should, I need to be okay with that.