“Make every pose mean something.” A favorite instructor greeted me with these words in my first class after an extended hiatus from yoga. They couldn’t have been more welcome or accurate. My wife and I just had twins. Nearly all exercise, not just yoga, took a backseat to an epic, 16-week roller coaster ride that’s still climbing, diving, dipping and turning. Late night feedings and bleary-eyed changings leading to foggy days and endless errand-running, followed by moments of sheer joy. But as I slowly made my way back into my practice, I’ve developed a newfound appreciation for the benefits it always delivers. Aside from a balky back feeling less balky and the renewed attempts to turn the gut back into a core, I’m sleeping better. Like no other form of hearty exercise I know of, yoga calms the whole system down and prepares it for relaxation. I’m more balanced. Knowing everything that goes into having twins, I should probably have set up mandatory yoga time outs from the beginning, but you live and learn. In any event, I’ve since instituted quick, 45-minute ashtanga bursts every week, at minimum, and the results have been great. I’m more patient with mewling babies; I’m better equipped for the encyclopedia-length To-Do lists; I’m just a nicer person. And finally, I’m simply more content and I should never lose sight of that. I think it goes back to the words of my instructor. Make every pose mean something. When I’m regularly doing yoga, I’m making sure my all my actions, not just my poses, mean something. I’m more grounded, thinking about better things and all around just happier. That’s especially important as a new father just starting out. So I’ve decided: no more breaks in the yoga routine, even for babies. Life without it, just isn’t the same.
Written by Tom Cartier