Friday, September 6, 2013

How Yoga Makes You a Better Mom- Guest Post from Ashley Josephine

Hey friends!

I'm so excited today because I get to share a guest post from Ashley Josephine.  She is a yoga teacher and owner of the beautiful website Ashley Josephine Yoga.  Her site is full of goodies for yogis and you should check it out!  But first, read this great post that she wrote just for us!

How Yoga Makes You a Better Mom

I’ll start right off by saying I’m not a Mom so you could stop reading right now and write me off because I have no credibility. I am, however, a yoga instructor and I’ve taught plenty of students, moms included, to observe how the practice transforms a person from the inside out. I also know enough about personal development to understand that if you work anything from the inside out, you become a better person; ergo you also become a better mom.

Yoga is a complex and confusing practice because it’s so richly layered. Take the oft-used onion metaphor - you can continually peel layer after layer after layer until you get to the core of practice, which is really self-discovery. The poses, the chanting, the funny outfits and the meditation are all layers you must cut through to get to the core. And yes, they may make you cry along the way.

Here are some of the highlights for how yoga makes you a better mom.

Yoga makes you healthier
Not skinnier, not sexier, not stronger, although it can certainly do all those things. At the end of the day, it really just makes you healthier – and if you’re making healthy choices for yourself, you’re most likely making healthier choices for your kids. Here’s how it works. The practice of yoga makes you more aware of your body and how you feel. When you start realizing that you feel like crap and you didn’t even know it, you become more motivated to make healthier choices, normally revolving around food, that will make you feel better. I don’t know what kind of Mom you are, but my mom made one meal for dinner and that was it. You ate it or you didn’t eat. So if you’re making spinach, well, that’s what’s for dinner.

Yoga makes you more flexible
I have a dog, so I do have a little experience with mommying.
 I’m also one of the least patient people in the world, which means that my dog drives me nuts sometimes when she refuses to pee. Sound like the thoughts running through your head every morning? Yoga can help you increase physical flexibility for sure – great for all you runners out there – but it also increases mental and emotional flexibility. As you become more aware of your thoughts, you also become more aware of your reactivity to situations and triggers that normally tick you off. Equipped with the trigger knowledge, you’re more prepared to take a deep breath and consciously choose how to react rather than yell and have to deal with crying, fussy kids for an hour, when a brief explanation or 10-minute playtime would have solved the problem much quicker.

Yoga is a great mother-child activity
There has been plenty of debate in the news as of late as to whether or not yoga should be taught in schools because of its religious undertones. If you weren’t aware of the California lawsuit, all you need to know is that yoga won. Yoga was developed in India by people who practice a different religion than most Americans but the practice doesn’t have to be about Hinduism. Kids who practice yoga can focus with more ease, get better grades, are able to handle emotions in a balanced and healthy way, have more confidence and experience less anxiety and tension. Substitute the better grades benefit with “improves efficiency and productivity at work” and the yoga benefits for kids and adults are about the same. There is nothing more thoughtful than to practice yoga with your son or daughter and reap the physical, mental, and emotional benefits together. It provides a great learning opportunity to connect with your kids and talk about awareness, living in the present moment and even spirituality if you want to go there.

Yoga is a great way to get in more you-time
As much as you love your kids and your family, you absolutely must take time out of your day to love yourself too. Taking care of your self allows you to be better able to take care of your family. When you take care of yourself, you’ll avoid burnout, fatigue, anxiety and exhaustion and have more energy to make healthier decisions and spend more time with the ones you love. It sounds counterintuitive, but then most things that work in life are a paradox.

Taking time to practice yoga is a great way to start taking care of yourself. You’ll build confidence and self-esteem. You’ll feel better physically. You’ll experience less stress. You’ll clear your mind. You’ll have time to breathe. You’ll get to stretch out your aches and pains. You may even do a handstand and have some fun. Even if you just walk into a class or set up your mat in your bedroom and lie down in Corpse Pose for an hour, starting a yoga practice will quickly make you prioritize self-care more than you ever have before. This alone is worth the time and effort to get yourself on the mat.

If you’re in need of less stress, less weight, more patience, more tone, more flexibility or more time for yourself, you can find all of this at yoga. It really is the ultimate workout, as it involves the entire mind, body and soul. You get from it what you need most, and sometimes, you didn’t even realize what you needed. The practice is a gift – I think it’s time you get yourself a little present for working so hard to create the best life for your family.


Ashley Josephine Herzberger teaches women how to become healthier & wealthier in their busy lives. She integrates her experiences as a yoga instructor, online business owner, social media marketing specialist and Air Force partner to empower women to redefine and rediscover balance in their work and lives. Her first “live” online course, “Livin’ Like a Yogini,” teaches women self-care strategies, rituals and relaxation techniques to help them find more balance in their lives using yoga philosophy and holistic medicine as a foundation. Class starts September 17th. Enroll today!

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