Pauline Schloesser, Ph.D., Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher, IAYT Yoga Therapist
Having young children is one of the best times in life. Everyone loves the innocence and sweetness of newborns, the curiosity and budding intelligence of toddlers, the growing self-awareness and independence of preteens.
But during this time, when our attention is so focused on our children, we often feel depleted. Something is lacking. It could be good sleep. Or time with a good friend, or group of friends. Or good food, or mental stimulation. Or a little undisturbed peace and quiet.
Another feeling that can creep up is lack of self-confidence. This comes because we get completely focused on others—our children, work, and spouses. And we get disconnected from our own intuitive wisdom. These days we have immediate access to so much information, so many choices, yet, how to know if we’re making good choices for our families and ourselves?
I once heard a very prominent yoga teacher give this advice to a pregnant woman: “For the next 18 years, it’s not about you anymore. It’s all about the baby”. I was horrified. Really. Because I know that if it is all about the child, then the mother can get horribly depleted. First there is exhaustion, then weight gain or weight loss, along with hidden tears, withdrawn staring, and inability to act.
I am the seventh of eight children, and I watched this happen to my own mother. Her mental and physical health degraded to life-threatening situations when I was a kid. It was the feminist movement that saved her. Her recovery included exploring the arts, local theatre, women’s groups, and French classes. And so, since the 1970s, my mother demonstrated and spoke about this principal: “If I don’t take care of myself, I am no good to the family.”
So I grew up with a mom who learned the hard way to be self-centered. You’re probably saying, “Yeah no worries there, I am plenty self-centered.” I get it. These days most women are educated professionals, making good money, having their own interests. But are you taking proper care of yourself?
Think of all the ways you could pamper yourself—get a manicure, a massage, take a day trip, buy yourself new clothing, flowers, or other things. How much will they cost and how well will they address your deeper needs?
The Women’s Essentials Class at Alcove Yoga is meant for women like you. Because the health and well-being of your family centers on you. I know, you probably have a wonderful spouse who does a lot for the family as well. But emotionally, the mother’s heart and state of mind are key to the emotional well-being of the family. The whole family prospers when you are healthy and joyful.
Maybe you came to yoga during pregnancy for your growing baby. But can you remember how great you felt after yoga class? What if you felt like that every week? Just adding this one weekly yoga class to your schedule can be the highlight of your week. You give your $20 and 75 minutes, and yoga gives back so much.
- Toning, stretching, exercising, and therapeutic movement
- Pelvic organ and pelvic floor recuperation
- Breathwork and renewal of vital energy
- Mental cleansing, self-knowledge, intuitive wisdom
- Relaxation education and better sleep
- Meditation and spiritual connection
- Social meeting, connection, community
I cannot think of a better investment of time and money for self-care.
Life is for enjoyment and learning. So enjoy your family life, and remember to sign up for yoga classes. Women’s Essentials is offered twice per week: Tuesday, in person from 7:30 to 8:45 pm; and Thursdays online (virtual, zoom) from 9:30 to 10:45 am. You can sign up for class by logging into our Wellness living Portal