Inspired by my client, Kate!
I have had the distinct honor in being my client Kate's yoga coach these past few months during this historic pandemic. Kate found me as a postnatal yoga teacher. The collective worry about our individual stress levels and of our little ones who are watching us with wide open eyes, began our discussion on mindful parenting. And, then development into this list for us avid readers who like to self study.
Becoming a mother is marked with so many ups and downs. The isolation can often be overwhelming. Those of us that are programmed to worry, our new mama anxiety levels can make this transition into isolation even more complicated and confusing. Yoga, is far more than the physical practice, it's also in its truer sense, how to live life, reflection, meditation, and breath. So, although Kate found me thinking yoga is great for stress and our new mama bodies, she discovered yoga is so much more. The practice is so much deeper, and potentially so transformative. Yoga has been my guiding light since I started my practice during one of my dark seasons in life a bit over a decade ago. Yoga's deeper, subtle messages of the power in the breath and meditation are tools that have kept me more or less sane during this pandemic and a stay at home mother.
Kate and I want to share with you all, the reading list I gave her to further her self reflection; what the yogis call, svadhyaya. Our sessions have moved from our gentle postnatal yoga sessions, to half connection, mindfulness techniques and breath, followed by movement. Recently, it's become more mindfulness techniques and life coaching like tools complimenting guidance of a licensed therapist (which I highly recommend to any mother, especially those with a traumatic birth story). I'm honored to be part of her journey and a piece in her support system. Becoming a parent often triggers our own childhood for better or for worse. I hope this list (in no particular order of importance) comes in handy for you as well as you navigate your unique voyage. These books aren't necessarily yoga books but, have many of the concepts of yoga to align with practice of self reflection, growth and mindfulness.
The Continuum Concept by Jean Liedloff
The Dance of Anger by Harriet Lerner, Ph.D.
Buddhism for Mothers by Sarah Napthali
The Conscious Parent by Shefali Tsabary, Ph.D.
The Whole-Brain Child by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. and Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D.
Parenting from the Inside Out by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. and Mary Hartzell, M.Ed.
I think Mr. Grinch's (2018, Illumination) toasts at the very end of the movie is very yogic: "To kindness and love, the things we need most." It begins with tending to self compassion and self love. The real hard stuff. And look, mindfulness, meditation and breath are hard practices. It's practice, practice, practice. Never perfection.
Reach out to friends, family, therapists, and coaches for support. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, rather it shows inner STRENGTH.
Be well. And let's wrap this year of 2020 up, shall we?
*Thank you so much, Kate for teaching me as well. I am grateful to you.