A perfectly messy life- truth from a yogi mom

Let’s be honest. Sometimes (always), when I see people’s yoga pics, in what appears to be an actual yoga studio, a tiny wave of envy washes over me just for a second. I think, “Ahhh…. That must be so peaceful…a clean quiet place to practice.” But who knows? Maybe they have stressful jobs to go to, or maybe they’re lonely, or maybe, even, they are just like me and this photo is the only documentation of their bi-annual yoga outing.

I’ve always thought of myself as a straightforward, authentic person. I feel like I present myself in a very thruthful way. However, I may do a tricky yoga transition I’ve been working on, post a video to Instagram, and every different person who sees it could, just for a second, form totally different ideas about what my life is like.

Here’s the real truth. Just outside of my camera frame there are usually many, if not all of the following items: baskets of laundry waiting to be folded and put away, a sink full of dishes, a vacuum, an enormous pile of mail/school papers, 2 cats, dirty bathrooms, dried up play-doh under my dining room table, and 1-3 willful children who may or may not be hungry. Just the everyday stuff of a mom. The beautiful and ugly mess of an imperfect life.

Flashback to a little over a year ago. I made a resolution January 1st 2014 to “get into the best shape of my adult life”. Besides chasing my kids and running up and down the stairs I was doing nothing for exercise. I’m not a treadmill kinda girl. But I knew I needed something. I kept getting drawn to these images of amazing Instagram yogis doing incredible poses. And I finally thought to myself, “I could do that….I could TEACH myself to do that.” So, I basically did, and still am. Sometimes yoga is so much more to me than that, than just getting into a fancy pose. It gives me calm, it give me purpose, it gives me strength and flexibility, it gives me perspective. But sometimes…. It’s just getting into a fancy pose.

Let’s face it. Any mom knows, if you get down on the floor, that is a direct invitation for your child to climb on you. So quiet meditation? No. Telling your child, “honey, I’m making a video” while actually in a handstand, impressive? Yes! But deep mindful breathing? Not really, no. Trying to block out Jake and the Neverland Pirates, the oven beeping, knowing you need to flip the laundry NOW if you’re going to have time to get milk before the kids get off the bus ALL while trying to practice yoga???? Does this take focused clear thought and strong intention? YES!!! It’s just different than the way you clear your thoughts and set your intentions in a yoga studio, led by a teacher.

But that’s okay, right? Well, it better be because once we start trying to force our yoga into being something we want, or something we expect, or anything other than what it is, we’re missing out on the REAL thing. Oh my goodness!!!! What a coincidence! It’s the same exact thing as parenting! Or at least the little bit I’ve learned on my journey so far.

Are you a better, stronger, more dedicated yogi because you get to class everyday? No. Are you a more focused, flexible, determined yogi because you practice at home? No. Just like you’re not a better parent because your kid eats edamame or broccoli; or homeschools or private schools; …or calls his own mom “Scully” because she has to be the parrot from his favorite cartoon.

Honestly, every single person I’ve ever met really just seems to be doing their best…whatever that is. Maybe it’s being a mom. And maybe it’s being a yogi, too. And probably, if you saw the handwritten version of this, you would see for yourself: it’s covered in spaghetti sauce and wine. A perfectly messy life.

Jen Maggio is a yogi, mom, and guest writer of this post for BuddhiBox. Follow her on Instagram @3babies123 and follow us @BuddhiBox

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