Several years ago, I engaged in a decadent 5 day yoga teacher training. Thanks to Renee DeTar, a small studio owner in Wichita, Kansas and Judith Hanson Lasater’s Relax and Renew training. Five days of blankets, bolsters, blocks and eye pillows to support my body in luxurious yoga poses. Five days of focusing on my breathing. Five days of friends and five days of being, Julie. It was refreshing. At that time, I had a 21-month-old and a 3-month-old. I was bone tired and attempting to carve out an identity for myself. I loved being a mother but I missed being “me.”
Flash forward, today I have a 17-year-old, a 15-year-old and a 12-year-old. As each child becomes more of who they are meant to be, so do I. It is a process, a pact we made long ago. Someday they will be prepared to separate and move fully into their own lives. For this reason, I take the time to nurture myself along the way. I paint, sing, dance, write, think, move, laugh or just breathe. You see, in that teacher training long ago, something stuck. Judith offered a way of practicing restorative yoga that worked for me, a busy mom. It goes like this. Daily, practice one restorative pose for 20 minutes. Weekly, practice a short series of restorative poses for 60 minutes. Yearly, practice 60 minutes of restorative poses each day for 7 days. Judith shared that the week between Christmas and New Year’s was a wonderful time for 7 days of restorative yoga. Genius!
Now I will share with you that I do not always stick to this schedule but I do my best. I’ve applied this concept to other practices too. For instance, I am nurturing the habit of 20 minutes of creative time daily. Once a week, I go for a painting class. I have not had a full week of creating for 60 minutes daily but I will eventually (a week long retreat, is on my list). If I make it 3 to 4 days, it’s a success. Start small. Set up for success. Cheer when it works out. Reboot when it crashes. As the saying goes, “tomorrow is a new day.”
When you are making your resolutions and grand plans for 2016 make space for the “you” that boldly burst into this world to draw breath. Then ask, “What is it that I must boldly draw in right now?”