For many years, I believed that yoga was just a series of asanas or movements that one would do in order to help find peace and calmness in body and mind. I loved going to my weekly yoga class and practiced everything I could on my days in between. As I progressed in my physical practice, I began to study yoga and realized that it was so much more than just the physical.
As I began to explore yoga, I realized that I was actually practicing yoga in my every day. I discovered that it is so much more than a physical practice, it is a lifestyle.
As a mother to two young boys, I have found that my physical practice can be fleeting. I am lucky if I get a solid chunk of time on my mat. I was surprised when I actually took the time to think about the actions I was performing as a mother, and realized that my yoga is carrying through in my parenting. In fact, being a parent is one of the highest forms of yoga, as we are constantly giving of ourselves to others in a manner that is totally selfless. As a mother, I know that everything I do is for my children, even if it means, and it has meant, giving up things for myself. With this act of mothering, there are no regrets, no anger, no resentment. It is a simple act of loving kindness. One that we provide for our children daily.
As I raise my children to be citizens of the world, it is my hope and intention to raise them to be the best version of themselves. I do my best to allow them opportunity to make mistakes, to resolve conflicts independently, and yet gently guide them. It is my intent to raise them to also practice their life with the same values and intention of loving kindness. Already we do encourage small acts of kindness, and we have seen the ripple effect that a simple act can have on the lives of others. I see these qualities in them already at such a young age and it makes me proud. As far as I am concerned, if they can provide the world with a simple act of love, I have done my job as a mother.
So often as parents we compare ourselves and our children to “the other ones.” This makes it pretty hard to stay positive and focused on our own families, as we are constantly comparing our lives to someone’s highlight reel. Since making the crucial discovery that I can live my yoga, I have found it much easier to practice that same loving kindness towards myself and feel completely satisfied. No need for judgement or comparison.
Olivia graduated from YTT in August 2014. After learning the impact yoga has in shaping lives, she was eager to bring her knowledge and love of teaching to Janati Yoga School. Olivia also works as a Youth Worker and intends to bring yoga to youth as a tool for empowerment. Olivia currently teaches a beginner series at Janati.