Motherhood is a process of shedding layers of identity and birthing yourself into a whole new role. We’re squeezed, stretched and over-extended –– we resist, try to keep up with the old life, until, we collapse, cocoon, slough and emerge into the moment-to-moment beingness that is the wonder of life with an infant, toddler, pre-schooler and beyond.
It was hard for me to give up my role as a lead teacher on the Akhanda Yoga Teacher Trainings after the birth of my second child – I just loved being in circle with yogis/inis so much and exploring the amazing transformational process that is YTT. But being a super hands-on, engaged parent was something I was called to be. I felt so present and in the micro-moments of the day with my kids at every fall afternoon at the park with the sun filtering down through the yellow leaves, at each toddler singing class with the marching band of shakers, walking to school and back at a snail’s pace four times a day. It was a profoundly healing and magical time with of course its own host of longings, challenges and fears, one of which has been the longing to connect with others through the teachings. But it was our time – mine and my children’s together. And with two tweens/teens, I am in many ways still primarily dancing in the space of motherhood.
Close colleagues mentioned to me over the years the possibility of offering classes online. I was so committed to the idea of looking around the circle and engaging with the people in the room in real time that I dismissed online education as ‘not for me’. And yet, I have been teaching Yoga Wisdom for over 15 years, and have been involved in adult education and practicing Yoga and its contemplative practices for 27 years (wow – that’s a 9 number – very powerful). I wanted to continue to teach. I wanted there to be a place for mothers, elder care givers and others like me to learn and grow.
After the inception of Akhanda Yoga Online, Vishva-ji and Renaud, the AYO video developer, asked me to just talk for ten minutes or so on each of the Ayurvedic constitutional types to help Akhanda Yogis/inis better apply the wealth of yoga technology to their lives. This was almost two years ago now in December 2017 and the video on How to Balance Vata Dosha has been viewed almost 50,000 times!
In early 2018, I continued to develop Yoga Wisdom videos for the AYO platform and it felt like coming home to my love of facilitation in a new and expansive way. In 2019, I committed to recording two 10-hour courses to share my deep engagement with the South Asian wisdom traditions. The first course was to explore the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali one by one and link them to other schools of thought within the Yoga tradition as well as to practices that are hugely relevant to our post-modern lives. I envisioned a course to take yogis/inis deep into the texts and the authentic wisdom as well as link it to our contemporary contexts in life-affirming ways. After recording just a few sessions, I could not believe the budding connection I was beginning to feel as I had poured myself into each video, through the steep personal challenges.
Before even completing the first course, I found myself signing on to produce a second course in Vedic and Upanishadic wisdom. For years as a YTT teacher, I had stayed after class and emailed YTT graduates at length about the connection between these early verses and later flowerings of Yoga. It is something that I’d always felt drawn to make more explicit in terms of how the lines of wisdom flowed through the ages. This was an opportunity I could not pass up – to blend philosophy, readings of the verses and meditations and ancient mantras and rituals all in one course accessible to people, like me, who are not necessarily able to attend weekend retreats or trainings.
Everything was flowing, and yet, by the time the film crew was scheduled and we were ramping up to start filming, I was deep into a two-month journey walking with my child through a major health crisis:
Unrelenting chronic pain and extreme fatigue.
I want to tell you about that healing journey and the power of intention that kept me creating in my next posts, but in the spirit of healing our family blueprints deeply into our ancestral lines and to celebrate the upcoming launch of the two courses that made it to fruition, please join me for a Vedic Ancestral Healing Ritual! This is my offering to you.
With gratitude for all the mothers who walked with me all over the planet. In anonymous solidarity, we love, we nurture, we continue on. Jai Ma!!