It seemed entirely silly.
That’s how I felt as I checked the box and paid the fee to reserve our spaces for a four-week mommy-and-me yoga session at our community recreation center. Yoga, to me, is supposed to be a serene mind and body exercise. A toddler tornado didn’t seem like the ideal partner for this particular practice.
But our big day came.
We arrived – both of us clad in stretchy yoga pants, a mat, and an extra fuzzy sheep-adorned blanket. Most of the other mothers in our class had young babies. My 18-month-old juxtaposed the Zen of the room with an aura of toddling, talking turbulence.
Our instructor quickly put my mind at ease, assuring all the mothers that crying was guaranteed. She said the walking babies [just mine!] may opt to explore the room instead of engage in our practice [bummer!], and she reassured that that was OK.
I immediately thought to myself, “Why are we here if she isn’t going to participate?”
The class, only about 35 minutes, went on and my partner was a sight. She wandered around to greet the other babies, spent a fair amount of time volunteering herself to be the demo baby, and sometimes she came over to our mat and would mirror my motions. At the end I scooped her up and we swayed and sang to a children’s song. She nuzzled in and I realized – this is why we are here. Our time together made an ordinary Thursday so much better.
Trying new things with young children, especially organized activities, can feel overwhelming and intimidating, but I’ll never again second-guess their importance.
More or less, I’ve reserved a recurring date with my daughter that is free of household distractions and a buzzing smartphone. It’s a standing commitment to do something together that is special, unique, and entirely about being together.
Are we the perfect yogi pair? No. Is her attention span fleeting? Obviously. Nevertheless, we’ll keep going with this and other opportunities as they become available.
In a world increasingly full of distractions, this oasis is just what we need to enjoy more time together.