Just recently I was filling out an application form, when I stopped and stared down at the question; “Occupation”
Would my answer be Mother or Yoga & Meditation teacher. What am I today?
When I started down the path of holistic living and Yoga teaching, my heart was ablaze with passion. I had an abundance of time and the energy to give and to feed that passion. It was NYC, it was everywhere, it was easy and it was life pre Children.
Now I’m a mother of two boys 13 & 10. They are both amazing and heart-breaking. They fill me with joy and cause me much contemplation. I truly love being a Mum watching them grow and change but there are times where I feel trapped by them, tied down by my choice to stay at home for them.
When they were very small 4 & 2 years, I opened a Yoga studio in Cork. We had a gorgeous au pair who fit in great with the family and at the beginning the balance felt good. I had my own identity, the studio was growing. Wasn’t this what I wanted?
I was teaching 13-14 classes per week but found it a struggle to find time for self-practice. The studio was small, not big enough to employ staff, I cleaned, took bookings and answered calls when not teaching. I became impatient with my boys and was not totally present as a parent. I found myself exhausted with little or no energy left for my relationship with my husband.
Life then threw me an opportunity. My husband got a transfer to Dublin so I had to let the studio go. A new chance to do it over to accept where i was on my journey. I started to teach a few classes at The Yoga room and organised a few of my own church hall classes. As my children’s lives got busier, my classes fell away. I went from Yoga studio owner to become ‘Mum taxi’. It was hard and I started to become resentful.
To find a better balance I started teaching retreats and wellness at work programs which I work around my children’s school life & activities. I now just teach 3 regular classes per week. It’s all enough… most days, but some days the young woman who found herself in NYC teaching yoga, rears her head and shouts “occupation; Yoga & Mindfulness Teacher”
Acceptance; I believe acceptance is the lesson that life is teaching me at the moment. At night, my gratitude journal is filled with family moments, but it is also filled with appreciation for moments during my class. I may not have as many students as before, but every class I teach, I have a chance to connect with at least one and help them to feel something great inside themselves. That’s 3 lives a week outside of my home and 3 lives a week inside my home. I am learning to accept my journey for now and find gratitude in all the small opportunities life offers. I try not to take for granted the privilege of helping my boys to grow into kind, compassionate, yet strong and capable young men. I cherish every cuddle and hug that they offer, as I know those moments will become rare. There are days when I feel disappointed at not having a greater role in my Yoga community but I’m not done yet!
So for right now I accept; occupation; Mother/Yoga & meditation teacher.
Santosa is one of Pantanjali’s Niyama’s. These are the rules of conduct for self discipline written as part of the 8 limbs of Yoga.
“Santosa or contentment has to be cultivated. A mind that is not contect cannot concentrate. The yogi feels the lack of nothing and so he is naturally content”
Light on Yoga by B.K.S Iyengar