Meditation in Action
Before Timothy was born and for at least a year, or so, leading up to being pregnant, I was very diligent about waking up early (sometimes 5:30am) to meditate for about 20-30 minutes. Ever since Timothy was born, I have definitely not been waking up at 5:30am to meditate. I often wake up at 4, or 5am to try and nurse him back to sleep, or crash with him in our bed; but I’m definitely not waking up that early to sit and follow my breath. It was bumming me out quite a bit that I just can’t seem to get this sleeping thing down with him and that I can’t have the mornings to do things I need to, such as meditate, drink coffee, eat breakfast, etc.
This morning I was with Timothy at the playground watching him running around in the beautiful morning sunshine as he explored new things and squealed with delight. I had to keep my eyes on him at all times and left my cell phone in the diaper bag in the stroller. I was fully focused on him. Not only making sure he was safe, but also just so overjoyed to get to spend time with him as he ran around like the silly little baby he is. I suddenly realized, this is meditation. I was fully engaged, 100% in the moment and enjoying every single breath I took.
Ironically, we came home from the park and Timothy crashed out for almost 2 hours in his crib. I was able to do my own yoga practice and then sat at the end to meditate. When he woke up, I wasn’t in any rush to do anything. I held him in my arms and we snuggled on the couch and I remained present. I took in his smell and felt his soft, little baby skin and I smiled the biggest smile ever.
We often put pressure on ourselves and compartmentalize our lives. Timothy has taught me more and more to live my life fully and to weave my practice in to my life. I love being active and I used to go to the gym a lot more before Timothy was born, now I run up and down slides with him and lift him instead of weights. I used to do cardio intervals on the gauntlet 2-3 days a week and now I just run after him all day long. I stretch on the floor when I’m on his play mat, or reading him a book. When I teach, I do some postures with my students. I eat more veggies now more than ever to encourage him to eat his peas too. I used to have everything scheduled down to the minute, now I just have to go with the flow.
Whether you have kids or not, just try and remind yourself daily that life doesn’t have to be so “set”. There is always a way to sneak some yoga in to your life, to make your lifestyle your workout, to meditate while waiting at a stop light, or watching the sun rise, or walking to work. Meditation is being present, every breath is a gift and you can find a way to cherish your self, your loved ones and your breath in every moment.
Kristin McGee is a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City. She is the star of over 100 videos, a contributing editor at Health Magazine and a spokeswoman for many brands and causes she believes in. Kristin also appears frequently on television. A proud mom to three, she sure keeps herself busy!