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Yoga vs. Park: A Mother’s Mental Battle

January 26, 2011

You know it’s bad when you are stressing out about going to yoga.

For my 30th birthday, nearly two years ago now, my husband purchased a gift card good for a 10-pack of yoga classes at a local studio for me. I was about to give birth to our baby boy and he thought that it would be a nice gift that would help me carve out time for myself and help me get my body back in working order after pregnancy.

His heart was in the right place.  How was he to know that nearly two years on I’d be struggling to find the time to use up my class credits before they expired? How were we to know just how definitively our lives were going to change?

So when Gus was about 9 months old I finally fished the gift card out of our Official Drawer of Gift Cards and (Mostly Expired) Coupons and marched myself down to the yoga studio to redeem it for my classes.  That morning, I was late and they took pity on the obviously completely bedraggled woman before them and allowed me to crash the class just a little over the ten-minute-late limit. I distinctly remember being in a bit of a rage over being late, I think I probably definitely slammed the door to my car on my way in.

The ten class pass was to expire a year from when I bought it. What that boils down to now is that I had, as of last Sunday morning, exactly 7 weeks to go to 7 classes. Yes. I’ve gone to a total of three classes in over 10 months.  It’s because every time I DO go, I end up stressing out about making it there in time, parking, getting to class, etc. Every time, I have nothing to wear so end up in my maternity yoga pants after searching and hoping for something else to materialize. Every time, I resent the fact that doing something that is supposed to be relaxing causes so much turmoil in my life and that the only beginner class is at 11am which really cuts the best chunk out of my Sunday.  

This last Sunday was no different. I dutifully made my reservation and soon felt the blood pressure begin to rise. Masa was going to take Gus to the park and I was going to miss out because I needed to get ready and go. Then I’d get back just in time for his nap and before I knew it my Sunday would be over and I’d have spent far to little time with my family. But the classes were already paid for and if I didn’t go, I’d start losing my credits. I HAD to go.

how can anyone resist a morning at the park with this little guy??

I saw my husband and little boy off on their way to the park and went back to finish the breakfast dishes. A mere few minutes later, I hear the door open again and in comes a toddler, all redfaced and crying for “MAMA!!”. This was new. Gus usually doesn’t have trouble leaving my side, especially with Masa. Especially to go to the park!

But on Sunday, it seemed, both of us were hesitant to leave each other’s side.

And in that instant, my decision was made. What yoga class is worth missing out on a morning at the park with my boy? He’s growing up before my eyes. Am I really worried about sacrificing the cost of a yoga class for the privilege of being there to see it? “Let me just change”, I told Masa, “I’m coming with you.”

Finally making that realization did more for my stress level than any yoga class ever could. Park 1, Yoga, 0.

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