Many years ago I was a mother of two crazy kids and was 8 months pregnant with my third child. My husband was headed to Afghanistan for a year long tour and I was staying home to hold down the fort. Having a deployed husband was very difficult. I am fully aware that being deployed is a challenge in itself but I can't be the one to share that perspective. I was constantly worrying about my husband, weather or not he was alive, and trying to keep it all together so our children would not worry even further. I tried to remember that no news was good news because they typically notify the family within 24 hours if there is any accident. I feared each time the doorbell rang it would be the visitors in blue telling me there had been a casualty. Although I had a wonderful support system of friends, it was hard to be away from home and do everything with the added stress of deployment. Exactly one month after he deployed I had our third child. That was our opportunity to learn new ways to stay connected and try to create ways to bond from across the globe. He was missing out on everything and I was getting burnt out on everything. He was longing for us and I was longing to escape my reality.
I had been teaching neighbors and friends yoga as a way to get to know my community. At that point I had been practicing for 5 years and felt I had a strong practice that could benefit others. I did not have a certification but offered to host classes in my home where people could practice along side me. I would stack my couches and spend hours of my time to move all the furniture out of my front room weekly, just so we could practice with a few ladies. It was wonderful. I looked forward to having that time to share my talents and to fill my cup and theirs.
I finally decided to get my certification and officially be able to teach and share my love for yoga on a totally different platform. I certified as a RYT 200 and truly enjoyed every single moment of my training. I felt so alive and rejuvenated. I was learning about myself each time I stepped on the mat. I was able to learn to live in the present moment which allowed me to reduce stressing about whether or not he would make it home and focus on the fact that I was privileged to have time with him through email, Skype or phone calls on a weekly basis. We are not guaranteed tomorrow, but we are guaranteed to enjoy and appreciate this moment if we choose that. It was phenomenal to see how I was able to change my perspective on our situation. I was able to offer my children so much more because I had taken care of myself and done something that helped me to gain energy and personal strength.
My husband came home from deployment physically unharmed and discovered that I had become a changed person. Although it was difficult to transition when he returned, it was much easier to do so because we both respected each others need and desire to be our best selves; consistently giving the other time to practice self improvement. We had both grown in similar ways and had truly never been so strong individually. We had the opportunity to develop and provide a working foundation for our lives on a personal and partnership bases and we took that opportunity and nurtured it. We both were humbled and radiated gratitude for the time we did have each day.
Finding yoga and incorporating it into my life has transformed the way I live, love and share what brings me happiness. I have never had such a profound personal transformation occur in my 34 years. Giving myself that undivided attention was something that seemed so counter intuitive. Taking care of myself first...what a novel idea? One thing I have witnessed over and over in my life and in my students lives is that NO ONE EVER REGRETS DOING YOGA.