In my eyes,
the job of a mother can be similar to that of a yoga instructor. I have observed the ways a mom cares for her children and how it is often unique to the care of any others. Teaching yoga is a nurturing business, like motherhood. My mom understands what I need when I need it, she offers her help but kindly stays out of it when I ask her to; she sees my pieces and not only picks them up, but also teaches me how to pick them up on my own. The more I elaborate, the more I hope you see the same connections I see between teaching yoga and mothering children. And I feel incredibly special to have both a yoga teacher and a mother all wrapped up into one.
I, of course, have had struggles of my own, and I am lucky enough to say that my mom and I are very close. I have never had any difficulty going to her with anything. When I was younger I was skeptical of doing yoga. I couldn’t see how it would help me in any way. So when my mom suggested I try it, I was close minded to it. Kids of my age are subject to disagreeing with their parents no matter how right they may be so, completely candidly, it did take me quite a while to understand what she was telling me. Now, as I have seen more of how it changes people and felt it firsthand, I can proudly say I love yoga. I wish I understood sooner how fortunate I am that I have access to an expert living under the same roof as me. I completely took it for granted that I have someone who knows how to help me right at my fingertips.
Yoga teachers often have to be the anchor for many yogis at a time.
They lift, they inspire, they motivate. As the oldest child in my family, I was used to my mom’s attention being focussed solely on me. When my brother was born, I had to learn to let that go. And when my youngest brother was born five years later I, again, had to learn how to help divide her time even further. When we opened the yoga studio, I saw so many people view my mom the same way I viewed her. They needed her in the same ways I did. This was hard for me to accept at first. Selfishly I wanted her all to myself, but now that I’m older I see it isn’t about me; and it’s possible for her to give the same love to everyone as she does to me. Whether it’s her own children, her close friends, or her clients in need, my mom has been an asset in so many people’s lives. And now, not only do I accept that, but I am proud of who she is and what she has done for people.
Yoga is such a beloved practice. Sometimes I go months without coming back to my mat but time and time again, I fall back into it. It calms me in times of anxiety, heals me in times of injury, and most importantly it is forgiving when I need it to be.
I truly believe those responsible for teaching us deserve all the credit they receive. They may just be the guidance between us and our practice, but to me there is one in particular that is so much more.
My mom has built a space for absolutely anyone to come into, completely free of judgement. I have learnt so much just by sitting in the yoga studio and watching how people circulate in and out. In, looking for healing. Out, a completely new person. Yoga has changed my life, as it has the lives of so many others. When my mom chose to open the studio I had no idea the impact it would have on my life. When she completed her yoga teacher training I was not prepared for the amount of times she would be able to apply that knowledge to my own personal situations, mother to daughter; yet at the same time apply the knowledge to me teacher to student. My own relationship with yoga is complicated, and I’m sure if you were to ask her about her practice she might have a similar response. Nevertheless, having been exposed to the world of yoga by my mother is something I will be forever thankful for. My mom is a yoga teacher, and it is awesome.
Written by: Maya Coleman