I had a day.
You know the ones…
When you go to prepare lunches at 7:22 in the morning and the only thing left in your kitchen is Entenmanns Little Bites Party Muffins (no judgment), one apple, peanut butter, and Ritz Crackers. I scramble together what looks like a somewhat nutritious lunch. One four-year-old twin whines about having to wear pants on a 64 degree day as we hustle to get out the door for preschool. A rainy day, an umbrella we can’t find…both twins melt down. The day turns into one moment to the next, each one seemingly having some kind of chink that tangles up a chain defining every moment of each task. My brain turns into a stalled bike on the side of the road, chain off, knotted, and un-ridable. Thus, the moment I think about searching Travelzoo’s Top 20 getaway places for moms only!
And then it hits me! I haven’t taken a yoga class in what has to be five weeks. When do I have time? I really don’t. But I do. It’s my fault, I haven’t made it a priority, nor myself a priority. I pick up kids from school, land a last minute babysitter and find a class. A hot Vinyasa class, definitely not my first choice but in this case, beggars can’t be choosers.
I show up to the class with four minutes to spare. I lay two blocks and melt into reclined supported Cobbler Pose. I breathe. I listen to the music, take in the warm inviting air and understand that soon enough it will feel like I’m in the Savanna. Though, I always have an out. I can step out for air. That’s self care and I’m not ashamed.
…in this moment I’m not the teacher, I’m not the mom, I’m not the business owner holding space for a 100 educators I’m trying to persuade to buy into mindfulness practices for their classrooms. In this space, I’m me, a tired 41 year old woman who had a day. A day that I felt like defeated me at every corner.
The teacher is young, maybe 23. I’m jealous, and not because of her age. You couldn’t pay me enough to revisit my 20’s. I am in love with my 40’s. I picture this teacher as my middle daughter, 13 years from now. Similar sweet smile, long sandy blonde hair, humble demeanor. I’m struck with a wave of sadness as I realize my now fifth grader has only seven years left with me before she takes flight into the world. I am thankful for this teacher. I feel a sense of connected-ness with her even before class begins. Because in this moment I’m not the teacher, I’m not the mom, I’m not the business owner holding space for a 100 educators I’m trying to persuade to buy into mindfulness practices for their classrooms. In this space, I’m me, a tired 41 year old woman who had a day. A day that I felt like defeated me at every corner. And just like that I surrender, I feel a wave of thankful intentions for my choice to make ME a priority. Am I tempted to check my phone in the inviting, white walled, bamboo filled waiting room just in case one of my children is being rushed to the hospital in an ambulance because she choked on a piece of pizza crust? Yes. Side note, that is how my brain works. I’m human, a woman, emotional, and I’m excellent at coming up with tragically silly stories in my head.
I modify everything.
The class begins, my mind travels, I feel tight and ungrounded. I soften into Child’s Pose while others flow and sweat, and challenge themselves in deep sequences. I melt, I breath, I feel a sense of reconnecting with where I am in this space. And it’s this place that knows far better than I do that this whole experience was long overdue. I join back in when I’m ready, I modify everything, I have nothing to prove and no one to prove it to. I tune out the external impressive looking poses taking place around me. I tune into the teacher, her voice, her guidance and excellent cuing. I’m curious about where she was trained. I’m impressed with her ability to lead a beautiful flow almost effortlessly as well as scan the room, offer assistance for the sake of protecting her students.
The class winds down, I’m surprised at the time. Wasn’t this a 75 minute class? I question whether or not I had read the schedule correctly. I did. I became lost in those minutes and during that time I repaired the tangled bike chain in my mind. I didn’t call my husband for help, I didn’t walk home in a huff angry at the situation. I sat in the pavement, October air refreshing my cheeks, and I fixed that bike. I slowed down my head, I looked up a You-Tube video on my phone related to bike chain repairs and I fixed what wasn’t broken, just simply off-track. I lay in Savasana and ride home. I take deeper breaths and feel grateful for small lessons leading to larger ones. I’m proud of me. The kids are fine. The house will be a MESS when I arrive home, but that’s fixable too. I’ll cuddle my babies and not rush through the books I read to them before bed. I’ll be present, I’ll laugh, I lay next to them a little bit longer. Because before I know it, they too will take flight in 14 years and I’ll long for these moments.
It’s been a day. It’s been a good day.
By: Sarah Stevenson, Founder of Mindful Educational Services
SARAH STEVENSON IS AN E-RYT, RPYT, RCYT AND K-6 CERTIFIED EDUCATOR IN NJ. SHE HAS BEEN PRACTICING YOGA FOR THE PAST 14 YEARS. SHE IS A WIFE AND MOTHER TO FIVE BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN AND RESIDES IN POINT PLEASANT,NJ. SARAH IS FOUNDER OF MINDFUL EDUCATIONAL SERVICES, A BUSINESS WHOSE AIM IS TO BRING YOGA AND MINDFULNESS STRATEGIES INTO SCHOOLS THROUGH RESEARCH-BASED PRESENTATIONS AND WORKSHOPS FOR ADMINISTRATION, STAFF, AND STUDENTS. SHE OFFERS WORKSHOPS AT VARIOUS LOCATIONS, AND HAS AUTHORED 200 HOUR YOGA ALLIANCE CERTIFICATION CURRICULA FOR BOTH ADULTS AND CHILDREN. HER CURRICULUM MAINTAINS ITS ROOTS IN THE POWER OF THE CHAKRA ENERGY SYSTEM. IN ADDITION, SHE IS CURRENTLY WRITING A CURRICULUM FOR THE K-5 CLASSROOM AND COMPLETING HER 200 HOUR YOGA THERAPY DEGREE THROUGH BREATHING DEEPLY YOGA THERAPY. SARAH HAS A HEART FOR CHILDREN, YOGA, TEACHING, AND CONTINUAL LEARNING. SHE FIRMLY BELIEVES THAT LOVING OTHERS DESPITE OUR DIFFERENCES IS ALL THAT REALLY MATTERS. AND AS A RESULT, GOODNESS ABOUNDS AND RELATIONSHIPS THRIVE.
WHEN THE CHILD IS PRESENT, WHEN THE TEACHER IS PRESENT, WHEN THE PARENT IS PRESENT, GIFTS ABOUND FOR ALL INVOLVED.
Certified Pk-6 Teacher in NJ and DE
BA Elem. Ed. and Psychology, Houghton College, NY
ERYT 200,RPYT 85,RCYT 95
Director and creator of M.E.S. 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training School & 95 Hour Childrens’ Yoga Teacher Training School. Both schools are fully accredited through Yoga Alliance. Authored “The Affirmative Classroom.” A 40 week curriculum for K-5 schools. Creator of The Mindful Mentor Program.
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