I’ve been working hard to improve my strength, running pace and overall fitness this past month. For over a year, I’ve been plodding along at the same old pace, covering the same old routes, without ever pushing myself too hard (because, frankly, getting out for a run – whatever speed or distance – has felt challenging enough, what with two little ones to run around after all day, one of whom has NEVER slept through the night).
A couple of times a week, while my husband is bathing the kids (i.e. getting them so hyped up with splashing and songs and bubbles it takes them about three hours to wind down), I retreat into my son’s bedroom with my yoga mat, and indulge in 15 minutes of yoga and stretching. In part, this is to ensure any post-run aches from the week get soothed, but I also do it because, well, it’s just bloody lovely, isn’t it?
Yoga. Alone. In my pants (if you can’t do yoga in your pants in the comfort of your own home, where can you?). Staring out of my son’s bedroom window, across the garden and up at the sky.
Except for one tiny detail.
I’ve been rumbled.
It didn’t take many sessions of my lovely alone-time routine for the little ones to figure out I was just next door. Just a few sessions before the shouts started:
‘Look, I’ve found Mummy! I don’t want my stories. I want to watch Mummy!’
So now, instead of having their bedtime stories curled up with Daddy in our bedroom, everyone sits on the sofa bed in my son’s room, listening to stories and watching me attempt sun salutations. Oh goody.
Nothing evokes ‘relaxation’ quite like listening to a three year old laughing hysterically at you while shouting, ‘Mummy, I can see your bum!’ (I might need to rethink the yoga-in-pants situation.)
And then, last night, just as I was about to yell, ‘OH MY GOD, GET OUT, ALL OF YOU! CAN’T I HAVE EVEN ONE MINUTE BY MYSELF THESE DAYS?’ (or something), a lovely thing happened.
It became audience participation.
My son performed a near-perfect downward-facing dog while asking excitedly, ‘Mummy, am I doing it? Am I doing it, Mummy?!’ My baby girl clambered around my legs, babbling away. We stood like trees (OK, we swayed like trees). And it was fun.
Yoga is about peace. But it is also about love.
I guess every now and then, my yoga time might be invaded. But that’s OK. I can’t think of a nicer way to spend some quality family time before bed.