How flippin' good are mums! Seriously! They give life! Or as the Spanish speakers so beautifully put it "dar a luce" meaning "give birth" or more poetically, "bring to light". Their selflessness and unconditional love is forever an inspiration.
To celebrate Mother's Day and the wonders of motherhood we chatted to some of our most inspiring mindful mother's, on how becoming a mum has changed their relationship to yoga and how yoga has helped them on their motherhood journey.
Mindful Mumma: Kim Sexty
Kim Sexty is sunshine personified! Prior to becoming an inspiring mother, you may have seen her teaching at Power Living Bondi Beach. Nowdays you'll see her (mostly) smiling face juggling cutie patooties Taya and Nash!
How would you describe your yoga practice prior to falling pregnant with Nash?
Gosh, I can’t remember it seems so long ago! Definitely not as regular as I would have liked it to be. I think my daughter had just dropped down to one nap so I was trying to find that balance of fitting a practice in, whilst also fitting in all the other mum duties in a 90 minute window.
Did you practice yoga during the pregnancy? And if so what ways did you find this practice helped you?
Honestly no I didn’t haha. I was so sick with both pregnancies that I couldn’t think of anything worse than going upside down in downward dog or anything else. Even when I tried to do yin the smell of the props would make me wanna vom! I did enjoy yin at home as a way of connecting to Self and my baby. My practice always leads me back to intuition. Knowing myself and trusting myself. So when my energy and body did not agree with doing asana when I was pregnant I didn’t push it, I listened and trusted.
How soon after having the gorgeous Taya and Nash did you get back on the mat? And what has your yoga journey been like since then?
I felt an urge to move around 6 weeks after Taya was born, and it felt AMAZING to move my stiff, tired body. But I also threw myself into asana and exercise a bit too early without fully understanding the need to really rehab my body properly. I thought “oh yeh I can do a plank, I can control my pelvic floor in an inversion, I’m fine!” When really I wasn’t. Not only was I working with a body that had just gone through pregnancy (which is huge) but I also have a pars fracture in L4/L5 so the need to really retrain from the inside out was and is even more important.
Nash is now 10 weeks old and I still haven’t really practiced. Instead I have gone to my chiro/physio and got some really subtle breath/core exercises to do, to ensure everything is working well before I do anything more intense. Women just get told, “oh you have no separation, you’re fine to do everything” but that’s not always the way. I really recommend women find a great physio and get a thorough examination with an ultrasound to know and see what’s truely going on in the body before re-visiting a regular practice.
I wanted to ask, “what a typical day looks like for you?”, but I guess there are no typical days in the world of being a mum! So how about, “what does a good day look like and what does a bad day look like?”
Hahah I had a good day yesterday! And that’s because Taya was happy and cooperated with me, I managed to get Nash to sleep on the bed (normally I have to carry him in the ergo baby all day), when Taya napped too, DOUBLE WIN, and then had time to meditate before one of them woke up! Basically I just need my kids to be happy and sleep at the same time to give me some me time. Do you really want to hear what a bad day is like? I may scar you from ever having kids. Basically a bad day is when all the shit things happen, all at once! For exampl, Taya is being a brat, crying, saying no to everything, while Nash is in the ergo screaming his lungs out, while I am trying to climb up three flights of stairs to our unit, carrying both of them and any other bags we have, while trying not to pee because the park doesn’t have toilets, while feeling faint and anxious because I didn’t manage to eat anything all morning, finally get to the door and drop the house keys, hit Taya’s head on the wall while trying to pick up the house keys with two kids in arms… are you getting a visual of me about to loose my shit?
Do you have any advice for other mother’s on how to make time for themselves and for their practice?
Look at your child's routine and map your time out accordingly! It is possible, life is about priorities and Mum’s just need to prioritise themselves more. For eg when Taya napped twice a day my rule was, first nap was my time, second nap was when I did mum duties. Now with a newborn and a toddler, if they are both asleep at the same time I will sit and meditate before doing anything else, cleaning, washing, dishes, laundry. That stuff can wait! There will always be a long list of things to do, prioritise yourself first, then tackle the to do list.
What are the ways in which yoga has helped you as a mother?
To trust my intuition. It comes up so often for me. So many people love giving advice and it’s always with the best intention. But only I know what is best for my baby and my family unit as a whole. I’m learning to trust that more and more. Also yoga has taught me to be kinder and gentler to myself. There will be days when I don’t meditate, or don’t stay calm with my kids, or don’t get anything around the house done. Prior to yoga I would have been really harsh on myself for that and eaten myself up inside, now I just accept that I am human, tell myself I’m amazing anyway and carry on. God bless yoga for that!