It’s been a couple weeks now so the distance and time brings me closer to acceptance, and the reality of the long view is coming into focus. I had to say no, to what once would have been an easy and perfect opportunity. There is a craving to return to yoga teaching. Of course, like everything with a youngster, this is easier said than done. Things seemed aligned and perfectly falling into place. A studio I previously taught at had an available slot, Thursday evenings 5:30 until 7:00, perfect! Preliminary verbal arrangements with my mother-in-law were made for child-minding one evening a week so that I recommence teaching.

And then a reality I didn’t anticipate set in. Mondays and Thursdays are also daycare days. She is settling in; on the fourth visit there were no tears, for her or I. With each day she attends her time there has extended and she has become close to her carers. But there’s one thing that has not faded for me and that’s my desire to see her after a day away from her. Maybe in time I will feel different but I know reconnecting is important for us both. I let the available slot at the studio go; despite knowing this was right for our family it was still so hard.

Even though I adore my child I wrestle with the sense of loss that comes with fading oneself into the background as a parent. Staying confident in myself, remaining patient, and knowing that I can pursue my passions while providing a stable environment for girlie is harder than I anticipated. I admit, I get a bit angry at my pre-baby self, wondering if I didn’t waste time in the past, taking for granted all of the freedom I had to focus on those ambitions. Time has changed, and I am adjusting to the unforeseen sacrifices that I will make as a mother for the sake of a happy child.

This incident sparked reflection on the whole idea of letting go. So often in yoga class the ultimate release happens at the end of class when we lie in savasana, or corpse pose. But to truly release in an easeful way takes bravery and strength. Patanjali speaks of sthira and sukahm, or strength and lightness, in II.46 of the Sutras. Though he is referring to this in the context of asana this relationship between grasping and releasing applies to life in general.

No yoga posture can be obtained purely through one avenue alone; you must always refine and explore the perfect ratio that enables you to use your strength and proper alignment to safely release into your expression of the posture.

Physiologically speaking, all strength and the rigidity prevents you from feeling true release. All softness and those precious connective tissues are in grave danger of strain and tearing, potentially impacting your body’s functioning and alignment in the long term, possibly permanently.

As a new mother, life presents opportunities to observe the symbiotic relationship of these yogic foundations.  Letting go of opportunities and desires that would have once been simpler to pursue without a child requires self-conviction. A belief that alongside the new mom I’m becoming, the yoga teacher waits with confident patience, knowing that releasing this chance does not mean relinquishing long-term goals forever. In time, with perseverance, the right balance will be struck.

And so I continue this journey of watching a brilliant new life unfold. Grateful that this little being has opened my heart in ways that no other experience has.