Ringing Endorsements: Volume V

singing bowl mamasteLife has been busy. When is it not? I’m just about six months into motherhood. Pureed foods are happening. Em wants to stand without yet knowing how to crawl. My yoga practice is coming back to me, and I can successfully do poses like eka pada koundinyasana again. Plus we just made our way through the holidays (well… one NYE party left to go) relatively unscathed.

More than that, though, I’m finding my writing groove again, churning out articles for AASECT, blogging for mom.me, and getting essays published on sites like Bustle and the Billfold. I’m editing old essays. Writing new ones. Sending out submissions again. It feels good.

As busy as I am, though, there’s always time to read, even if it’s just in the hour before I go to bed, or when stuck in a room with uncomfortable seats while doing jury duty.

And because reading is one of my favorite things ever (aside from cats and Emily and yoga and food), I thought I’d make this Ringing Endorsements post all about the best books I read this year. [Read more…]

Feeling Gratitude for Pigeon Pose

Auteri_088A few days before Thanksgiving, I asked my students which yoga poses they were most thankful for.

I wanted to build a class that managed to fit in everyone’s favorite poses, both to remind them of why they kept coming to their mats and to allow them to have an indulgent experience that was all about them. I felt this was important before the oncoming chaos of the holidays, during which we tend to think more than ever of how we can give to others and less than ever about how we should be nourishing ourselves.

“I’m thankful for pigeon pose,” I told them, “because I love hip openers. And I’m thankful for legs up the wall, because it’s a restorative pose that lets me be lazy.” [Read more…]

This Is My Yoga Body

mommyandmeomThe other month, I purchased a tank top emblazoned with the words “This Is My Yoga Body.” It was part of a campaign to raise money for the Yoga and Body Image Coalition, which develops body positive programming for yogis of all body types. This was a campaign I could really get behind, as I’m not one of those yogis you might typically see on the cover of Yoga Journal.

Not many of us are.

The funny thing about the imagery we typically see in Yoga Journal and on Instagram is that it’s not really all that representative of your average yogi. [Read more…]

When She Came Into Our Lives

diacollageIt was the day after Dia de los Muertos when we found out about Emily.

The night before, our home had been filled with people. The dining room table had been crowded with cookies and spinach balls and dips and more food than we could all ever finish. There were skeletons and skulls everywhere. Strands of lights in the bay windows. Skulls with glowing eyes on the windowsills and clustered together on the server. I’d printed out sugar skulls from the Internet and Michael and I had colored them in at the kitchen table before taping them up on the walls.

For the first time in awhile, I was able to lose myself in the festivities. For the first time in awhile, I didn’t think about the fact that we had been trying to get pregnant for the past three and a half years. That it still hadn’t happened.

I just had a couple glasses of mimosa punch, stuffed my face with as much food as possible, and enjoyed myself. [Read more…]

Ringing Endorsements: Volume IV

singing bowl mamasteIt’s been quiet here on Mamaste. But that’s because I feel as if I have to save all my best stories for mom.me.

Also: life. In addition to juggling eleventy-billion deadlines this past week, I spent the previous week preparing for our annual Dia de los Muertos party.

And on top of that, I’ve spent hours upon hours since my last post making faces at Emily in an attempt to make her smile her BIG smile… the one that is almost as big as her entire face.

I love that smile.

Still, I managed to stumble upon a few things I think you might enjoy. [Read more…]

How Work Helped Me Beat Out the Baby Blues

wahmI’ve always been the type of person who defines herself by her work. Even while on my honeymoon over seven years ago, I couldn’t resist checking in with my full-time job.

Something about getting stuff done, doing good work, building my business, and receiving positive feedback gets me all fired up. If I don’t have work to do, I tend to feel aimless and, from there, depression follows.

I was feeling anxious as my maternity leave approached. I’m terrible about delegating work. I was nervous about pressing pause on new projects. I didn’t want to lose the momentum I’d finally been gaining. I was also pretty sure I’d get bored.

And when Emily was finally born, I couldn’t let go entirely. I continued conducting interviews and writing articles for my main permalance client.

But I refused to take on anything new. And I had subs teaching all of my yoga classes. And much to my surprise, I didn’t miss any of it. None of it seemed important anymore. I began to wish I could afford to be a full-time mom. [Read more…]

Ringing Endorsements, Volume III

singing bowl mamasteAnother week behind us, and I feel a tide is turning. Em has entered that “easy” stage, where she still can’t move anywhere of her own volition, but she can amuse herself for short stretches of time. I no longer have to have my boob out 24/7 and, slowly but surely, work is picking up. I’m loving the whole mom thing, but it’s not all I am. Once again, I’ve found a precarious sort of balance.

So what was I enjoying this week, aside from a rising level of overall sanity? [Read more…]

Making Time for Inner Peace

3870006964_4d20288227_zLast year, inspired by the way in which yoga and meditation helped me manage my crazy, I designed a 1.5 Hours To Inner Peace workshop and taught it at my two regular studios.

During the hour and a half, I guided students through several hip stretches to better prepare them for seated meditation, taught them different breathing exercises and meditation techniques, put them into a series of restorative poses they could use before bedtime, and wrapped it all up with a yoga nidra session (a guided meditation). It was my hope that students would be able to take the techniques they learned at my workshop and apply them in their daily lives, even if they had only a few minutes to spare.

Because no one understands better than me that it can be tough to prioritize yourself on your daily to-do list.

[Read more…]

10 Things I’m Afraid To Admit To Other Moms

7175331883_80d3ebae45_zI’ve led a charmed life.

Not that there haven’t been some rough spots.

There is the chronic depression and anxiety that’s been hanging around since my adolescence. There was the alcoholic, emotionally abusive boyfriend. There was that one job I was let go from (which I still feel bitter about). There was the time the bottom dropped out of the economy about a year and a half into my career as a full-time freelancer (which eventually led to an inability to sell our condo). There were the three and a half years it took us to get pregnant. There was that time we almost separated.

But I tend to approach everything with the attitude that someone else probably has it worse, so I should probably just shut my damn trap and quit it with the “woe is me” Sturm und Drang.

Though obviously, in the moment, I can tend toward the melodramatic.

Still, when the tide turns (as it inevitably does), I can’t help but think I’m pretty darn lucky. That things, for the most part, come easily.

And the same is true of motherhood.

Sure, I puked multiple times during labor, and lost a lot of blood during delivery. Sure, my nipples hated life the first month or so of breastfeeding. Sure, I felt overwhelmed and claustrophobic and helpless at first, and cried every other day. Sure, Em is screaming bloody murder right now as I try to get stuff done, only quieting when I pick her up and dance that particular figure eight dance with her.

But there is so much else that is good, and reminding myself of those things makes me feel gratitude at times when I might instead succumb to frustration. [Read more…]

Ringing Endorsements: Volume II

singing bowl mamasteThis week has been a good one, aside from the fact that a lingering cold has settled into my chest, leaving me with a husky man voice that has made teaching yoga quite difficult. But beyond that, I’ve found myself getting back into the writing groove for the first time in awhile. For the first time since before Em, even.

My work with AASECT has, surprisingly, not suffered, probably thanks to my amazing editorial committee. And I’m now blogging about motherhood for mom.me. (You can keep track of all of my posts here.) And then there’s this blog. Mamaste. All of which have helped me find the fun in writing again.

But beyond all that, here’s what rocked my world this week: [Read more…]