Nine years into this mothering gig and there’s still much for me to learn.
Despite that, most days feel relatively smooth and peaceful in our house. Of course, we have our bad days and tantrums. But, most of the time, we’ve got a rhythm that works for all of us.
A lot of factors contribute to this, but there’s one element that has been crucial…
A commitment to my personal physical movement practice.
Today, I want to share WHY and HOW I prioritize my movement practice, all while running a business and homeschooling my two kids.
Why I prioritize my movement practice.
There are a million things that could stand in the way of moving my body each and every day. The never-ending to-do list, people needing me, you know how it goes.
But I make my movement practice a priority.
- When I move my body I am a better human and mother. Plain and simple. When I care for my body, I am more patient, open, and loving to myself and the people around me. Thank you endorphins.
- My movement practice helps me get sh*t done. When I start the day with movement I am more focused and efficient when working through my to-do list. It’s easier to focus on the task at hand and I spend less time scrolling social media or the news. It kicks my brain into action…without the jittery side effects of caffeine.
- Movement makes me feel more vibrant. After nearly a decade of raising little people, I’m very familiar with fatigue. What parent doesn’t know that feeling? But movement, and the breath that accompanies it, shift my state immediately. As my heart and breath rate increase, I feel my whole being wake up. A beautiful tingle of energy courses through my cells. People pay all sorts of money for that feeling but a movement practice creates it for free.
- I see the example it sets for my children. We all know children pay far more attention to what we do than what we say. I want to be a living example of healthy living for my children.
HOW I prioritize my movement practice
And now the bigger issue…HOW do I make it happen when it’s way easier to put myself, and my movement, at the bottom of the list.
30 Minutes is My Max.
In my 20’s (pre-kids), I loved a 90-minute yoga class. That is unfathomable to me now.
20-30 minutes of movement is totally do-able, even with kids underfoot. And the 20-30 minutes that you actually do, is infinitely better than the hour practice that never happens.
This is why all the practices I’ve created for the Strong Mama Yoga Club are 20-30 minutes in length.
It Has To Happen AT HOME.
If I have to get in the car to exercise, it won’t happen.
Instead, I pick movement routines that I can easily do at home.
Over the years, I’ve also accumulated a few strength training tools that help me build muscle at home.
You don’t need a decked-out home gym but a few tools can provide you a really satisfying full-body workout.
My favorites include:
Mix it up!
When I was young, I did yoga every day. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve recognized that my body craves a variety of movement types.
If I do the same activity every day, I sense wear and tear from repetitive movements (especially in my joints). My body (and my motivation) are better with cross-training.
Currently, my week includes daily walks with my dog, a few yoga/qigong sessions, a few short runs, and a few weight training sessions. This routine feels good and supportive to me right now.
In the future, I imagine it will look different because my body will be different!
Create a Plan A & Plan B.
Life with kids is unpredictable so you need to be ready to roll with the punches. I typically have a plan A for when I expect to exercise in the day…and then I make a plan B.
That way, when a sad kid needs his/her mom during plan A time, I can roll with it.
I can be present and available to him/her without resenting the loss of my movement time.
Because I know my plan B is waiting.
Follow Your Monthly Cycle.
If you get the sense that I’m always exercising hard, I promise you I’m not.
Rather, I let my body and energy lead my choice of movement.
As I get closer to my period my body wants slower, gentler movement.
At the beginning of my cycle, I am drawn to more active and energetic movements.
I allow that ebb and flow. And I never shame myself when I don’t feel up to vigorous movement.
If you’ve been struggling to make time for yourself daily, I hope some of these tips help.
If you are looking to incorporate more movement into your life, you might be interested in the Strong Mama Yoga Club.
This online yoga and movement library includes over 45 yoga practices and is open for enrollment until Friday, April 22, 2022.