Take a Deep Breath: Nurturing Yoga with Sarah Ezrin
Most parents have a story about their little one ending up with a visit to the emergency room, but not everyone can say they were able to stay (mostly) calm throughout the experience.
“I 100 percent credit my yoga practice for staying (mostly) calm when my toddler put a hanger in my eyelid (!),” Sarah Ezrin writes in her new book, Parenting Yoga: 10 Yoga Practices to Help You Ground, Connect with Kids, and Be Kind to Yourself.
And while before she became a mother of two, her yoga class looked very different—what was once a two-hour vinyasa class may now look like more than a few minutes on a mat—Sarah, a world-renowned yoga teacher, assures us that it’s okay.
“If we can remind ourselves that yoga is not about the poses, but about how we work with our minds, then maybe we can be a lot kinder and more realistic about what our practice looks like today,” she writes.
Sarah, raising children is yoga.
“The root of yoga actually refers to connection (the root of the word, judge, means “to connect”), Sarah explains. “It means that whatever we do with concentrated mind and whole heart is yoga.”
Yoga education this is not a parenting guide, but rather a wealth of resources. This deeply personal account of Sarah’s experiences as a mother and longtime yoga teacher is a must-read for parents and expectant parents alike.
Each chapter examines a yoga concept and includes a pose that shows how yoga principles and poses apply to child rearing. Sarah weaves in breath work, meditation and exercise, and forms a full Yoga education sequence from Tadasana to Savasana
Sarah asks her readers: How can we fill our children’s cups if we can’t fill our own?
Self-care is self-preservation, and as a parent, you must create the space to take care of yourself if you want to be wholeheartedly there for your children. Sarah emphasizes the importance of creating healthy boundaries because sometimes saying no to something means saying yes to yourself.
For Sarah, this is due to her early morning routine. She chooses to wake up earlier than the rest of her family so she can meditate, write, enjoy hot tea, and maybe even cuddle the dog.
“Getting up early gives me time to fill my cup,” she said.
Sarah writes with honesty, compassion, and a deep understanding of yoga philosophy, helping parents slow down before reacting to their children. As she says, “presence = awareness.”
She bases the book on personal reflections and the experiences of other parents, reminding us to take a deep breath that we are not alone and that we are completely imperfect.
Parenting is a yoga practice and maybe even a spiritual experience. Because just like inhaling and exhaling, we learn to hold space for our children while simultaneously learning to let go. Yoga reminds us as parents that everything is temporary.
“As our children change, we are asked to change as well,” Sarah said. “As we watch our children grow up, we are forced to accept the cycle of life and death again and again, and to give up resistance to these changes.”