“Now let’s take a minute to fully appreciate this beautiful natural ceiling of blue sky and really be mindful of being present.” This is the most difficult part of yoga in a studio, but it seems to be even more difficult today. Pre-children, vacation was a time for reflection and relaxing. Now, with four year old twins in tow, it feels like a tug-o-war between family fun and freedom. But here I was, sitting on the beach with the sun warming my soul willing my mind to rest. Balance is hard to find in the sand.
There really is nothing more serene than yoga on the beach. For the past two summers, my little family joins my in-laws for a week in Sea Isle City, New Jersey, inappropriately acronymed SIC. This little beach town offers fitness on the beach almost every morning and each year I miss it. For the past three years I almost had to restrain myself from crying out, “Where is my vacation while I am on vacation!” Between naps and nappies, sand and sun block, I felt like I was working overtime and yet I stubbornly refused to ask for time off. When I finally put my pride aside and asked for an hour or actually accepted an offer of child less time I could not truly revel in the relaxation. I felt torn about being away from the children while mining the minutes away, musing about how there is never enough time. That’s when reality set in: There is no vacation from the motherhood.
On this particular morning though, something clicked. Three days in and I found myself with an opportunity to make a 7:30am yoga class. The children, sleeping soundly after a fun filled night, slumbered along with my husband as I headed out on my bike (yes!) to the yoga location. As I pedaled I prepared for my practice. I would not think about the boardwalk pizza (Mack and Mancos’s, the best) and the Kohr’s custard (peanut butter chocolate with sprinkles of course) I ate just hours ago. I would not worry about the sun block to skin ratio that I had packed or what to serve for breakfast. Not even the waft of cigarette smoke that hit me in the face from the Mountain Dew drinking guy lounging on the beach bench was going to disrupt my drisdi.
Surrounded by perfect blue sky and natures most perfect soundtrack my mind still spun. However, I was happy. I realized that I had finally found acceptance of this life. My twins are four years old and for most of their little life I have stretched and reached for a position that held my old self and this mother self. And here was the reality: I could be a mom and be on vacation too. Maybe I could love them and myself too.
I could beat myself up for not finding this peace sooner. I could think about all the little things I missed while I was out. I probably will. But as I move through each pose and each stage of life I will hang on to that moment on the beach where sometime between downward dog and shavasana I found some peace and prana. Finding balance in the sand is more difficult, but not impossible.
This is an original post for Jersey Moms Blog.