Yoga and Connection: Back To School…The Grown-Up Version
I have always found the transition from summer to fall to be more like a New Year than tacking up a new calendar in January. It could be because of the seasons where I live, but I am more likely to adopt new practices at this time of year than at any other, and yoga is at the top of my list.
While I enjoy the carefree summer days driving our jeep onto the beach for bonfires and s’mores, I really do enjoy the routine that the school year brings. I look forward to seeing my kids grow and learn in school. Especially this year…
I am sending my youngest off to kindergarten in two days. And I am thrilled! Not that I want her to grow up quickly, but she is so ready for this. How funny that I was sad when my firstborn went to kindergarten 7 years ago and I am completely the opposite now. I suppose that shows just how much I’ve grown since then.
For me, back to school time comes with so many opportunities for growth and renewal. And I am ambitious when it comes to the things I want to do, yet I am also realistic about what I can actually balance within the day-to-day that is our lives. And now that my 40th birthday looms on the horizon I am finding myself being more okay with what I don’t get done.
I recall declaring 2011 being the “Year of Yoga” for me. I don’t know just how much yoga I did that year, but it was certainly not worthy of being a goal I crossed off any list. I’ve learned over the last few years that I to do better when I think in baby steps. And any day that I can squeeze yoga in is a great day. It could just be my sneaking into an empty conference room at work to drop into downward dog or it could be with my daughters when all we do are poses named after animals. It’s all perfect.
I seriously used to think that I had to “set the mood” to do yoga at home. So much so that it actually prevented me from practicing. I had to have the mat “just so” and the music on lightly in the background with no interruptions or outside noises of any kind (e.g. kids). HA! But I’ve gotten to the point where I know I am lucky to do it at all.
With yoga, as it is with meditation for me as well, it’s the connection that matters most.
With myself, my breath, my body. No matter how little time it is that I am able to connect during any given day, it is all precious. Not only that, but I find it equally as important to acknowledge and honor myself each time I am able to include that into my day. I am a better mom, wife, daughter, friend, sister…just an overall better ME when I do.
And when I don’t have that time to practice? Boy, did I used to let myself have it! If I ever talked to my friends or family the way I used to talk to myself, I wouldn’t have any left. But through lots of soul searching and acceptance and love, I’ve let go of beating myself up for not doing everything I think I need to be doing. I am not superwoman, that’s for sure. And I really am okay with that. Finally!
It took me a long time to get to this point. Maybe it’s because I am closing in on 40, but I am so much more accepting of myself and my path. And of trusting that I am exactly where I need to be in this moment.
So, welcome September! Here’s to a beautiful, memorable, loving and joyous school year. Just like those parents in the Staples commercial, for me it really is the most wonderful time of the year. And who knows, it just may be my Year of Yoga after all.
This article was originally written by Shannon Kelly: Wife and mother of three who is blessed to live on Cape Cod. In addition to being a writer, she is also a corporate trainer for a title company and Reiki Master/Teacher. She has authored a children’s book titled Silly Megan which was published in 2011 and can be found on amazon.com..