Using Yoga to Say F*ck Parenting Guilt
TIP : Using Yoga to Say F*ck Parenting Guilt
by Sarah Ezrin, teacher, mama and author of “The Yoga of Parenting.”
“I spent Mother’s Day solo at a hotel. It was mostly heaven, but at times my guilt was all-consuming. It was like a boomerang for my bliss. I’d be reveling in my freedom of leaving the room with a single bag, when I’d see a family and my heart would shatter into a million pieces. Surely, I was a terrible mother for wanting this time alone?
I didn’t bring my mat on this mini-vacation, but every time my mind traveled to a place of shame and guilt, I used all my tools from there to anchor in the reality of the now. The reality that I am burnt out and overwhelmed, and as an introvert and creative, I need alone time to fuel up. The reality that I am a better mother when I take that time for myself.
The yoga I practiced wasn’t physical, yet it was some of the hardest yoga I’ve ever done (and I used to wrap my legs behind my head every morning before coffee!).
The yoga I practiced is called the practice of yes/AND. It’s the practice of embracing that opposite realities can be true.
Nothing in this world, let alone in parenting, is black and white. We feel this in our bodies—how one side can be incredibly tight while the other feels loose. Or how we can be focused in a balance pose but wobbly. Just like you can love your kids dearly AND really need a break.
Practice this technique by filling in the following statement:
Yes, I (what you’re guilty about) AND I (a positive gain from that choice).
E.g. Yes, I love alone time AND I’m a better mom when I get it.
Quality over quantity
When I came home from the weekend, I was way more present, attuned, and grateful than I had been in years. That’s not hyperbole either. I had only been away once in the four years since becoming a mom and that was before my second came into our lives.
Of course my children missed me, but our connection seems sharpened by the time apart. It is like we all appreciate each other more thanks to that space.
I’m so thankful I took that time, because it reminded me (and now I get to remind you) that we must take care of myself first, before we can take care of anyone else.
And I’m so grateful for my yoga practice, because while sure, yoga keeps us flexible, it can also teaches us how to say (and mean!), “f*ck guilt.”
Sarah Ezrin is an author, world-renowned yoga educator, content creator, and mama based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her debut book The Yoga of Parenting releases Summer 23 from Penguin Random House-Shambhala. Sarah loves guiding people along their wellness and parenthood journeys. Her words, classes, and social media are supportive, healing spaces where people can feel seen and heard. For more information on Sarah please connect with her on Instagram and TikTok, or at SarahEzrinYoga.com.