One of my recent explorations has been how to take yogic principles off the mat and apply it to parenting. My hope is to build a community of yogi parents to explore this with, so a few weeks ago I had a few local moms to my house to begin the tradition. Our first theme was Sthira (strength) and Sukha (ease). We had an asana (yoga poses) practice and then journaled and discussed.
What kept coming up for me was the idea of boundaries. How do we create them, hold them, and ease up on them with our kids? With my kids? I feel like I’m raising great negotiators which is a fabulous trait as an adult, but often super frustrating as a mom. The questions I find myself returning to in those moments are, “Why does this really matter?” and “How important is this to me?” If I can let those questions guide my decisions it might make whether my kids snack on the couch vs. at the table or whether they get dressed or brush their teeth or read books first more manageable. Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes, something feels really important to me in the moment (like going to the bathroom now rather than after we read) because I may be exhausted (or a host of other reasons). But if I am trying to be the best, most patient version of myself, I realize that a lot of that is trivial and what I’m actually helping to grow are kids who can make decisions, take responsibility for themselves, and justify what they want.
One of the other moms in my group that night uses the question, “Who’s being rigid?” to guide her. I found this super helpful also and set the intention for myself to breathe (always, of course, but more mindfully in the boundary-pushing moments) and reflect. Using these questions as a way to help me know where I need to stay firm and where I can ease up has actually been helpful.