This week a group of my mom friends trusted me to take them on an adventure. We traveled an hour to take an Aerial Yoga class with my friend Delia. Delia has instructed newbies on the “silks” for about three years now. She is a natural at it and really great at letting people find their own comfort zone.
When I suggested this adventure I really had no idea what I was getting us into. I had zero reservations about the experience. That is until I arrived at the studio, took off my shoes and got into place in front of my silk. Silks are 10 feet of hanging fabric clamped to a chain and attached by a cable to the rafters or some other structure. I had no clue how demanding it would be to stay steady on them.
I followed Delia’s instructions very closely. I tried to mirror her movements as accurately as I could (and this old body would allow). But, half way through the class I was stuck upside down and swinging inches from the floor. I could not figure my way out and she instructed me to simply drag my hand over the floor to slow myself down, and then how to stop myself and lower myself out of the silk.
In that moment my instinct was to panic. I wanted to fight against the momentum and drop to the floor. Instead, I embraced this new feeling of flying and stretched out my arm to emulate the grace of an ice skater. I joked with my group and made silly faces as I slowly, and as gracefully as possible, came to a stop. I stood up with confidence and said, “I like to fall with grace and style.” My friend Delia commented, “Isn’t that what life is about, learning to fall with grace?”
That statement stuck with me. How many times do we find ourselves in new and sudden situations outside of our comfort zone? Parenting for sure will push you into realms of discomfort you didn’t know existed before. Do we brace ourselves against the momentum of life or do we embrace the chaos? Do we slow ourselves down long enough to gain confidence to get back up?
I feel like every new stage has brought about new challenges with my kids. From their behaviors to their food preferences to a first time with a new sickness. Most often I want to bristle and try to control things into perfection and make them more efficient and convenient for me as a parent. That seems to only make things worse. But, when I truly lean into the moment and just go with the flow and leave behind the instinct to panic things seem to get easier for me.
I stumble most days on this parenting journey. I rethink my choices daily. I wake up with zero reservations about my life with kids. That is until I am standing in front of the empty coffee pot with one or both of them screaming at me. When I find myself pushing back and yelling I remember to take a breath, find that amazing mom I want to be and let go of making the outcome perfect. If I fall, I get up and declare my grace through humor. I dust myself off and try again.
I wish I could say the rest of the class was easier after that, but it wasn’t. I got stuck two more times, thankfully not upside down. Delia came to my rescue with a boost both times. That’s what friend’s do.
Who knew taking a yoga class would help me discover that I am stronger than I realize? That when I am faced with a challenge I have a deep inner strength and determination that doesn’t allow me to give up. Who knew I would get a life lesson from a yoga class?
The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again!
That actually sounds like a cool class. I wonder if there is anything like it here in Boston?
I’m trying to get back into yoga. I’m more of a pilates girl, but this class sounds so intriguing. I really do like how yoga does more than just work the body, it also works the mind.
Very insightful and great connection! Its better to embrace things and not be afraid to fall!
Sometimes you learn your most important life lessons in the strangest moments and it is so uncanny. I agree we need to learn that it is ok to make mistakes but do it with grace and accept that it is ok to be flawed.
This sounds amazing! I love the way you wrote this article it really makes me want to try this kind of class!
love your analogies that you were able to draw from this class. That class seems fun! Parenting is SO tough!! Teenagers drive me bonkers!
I’ve been really interested in trying aerial yoga. It seems like such a fun class but also a challenge, since I have no upper body strength lol. I love the connection you were able to make between this class and parenting.
We could (or actually I could) talk to you for hours about life lessons on the mat. Yes. We’re all going to make mistakes. It’s how we handle them that matters.
I’m pretty sure that I would be stuck upside down most of the class…I think falling with grace sounds like awesome advice! What a great lesson 🙂
this would be such a cool class to take. I have to admit it definitely would be a little intimidating though
Ooowwiee!!! That class sounds like a lot of fun! And I definitely love a class that teaches so much about life too! <3