8 days of living yoga: Day 4: Asana to pranayama

Well hello from my home-based yoga retreat! I decided to reflect on each of the 8 limbs of yoga over 8 days of the Easter week, and see if it was possible to have a yoga retreat type experience while going about my normal life with my 3 month old and just turned 2 yr old.
I didn’t blog last night on Asana day… Because I was busy doing asana practice! Yes, it finally happened at 9.20pm, when I got in a lovely hour including a very sleepy relaxation. So how did the day go?..
I woke up late 8.30am!) as I must have been tired from staying up to blog the night before! Waking up at the same time as the 2 littluns, The planned morming asana practice didnt happen, despite the ready-unrolled yoga mat! I will post a pic of what my mat looked like by mid morning .. Covered in toys, breakfast remains, nappies clothes etc! The irony of this is far from lost on me.. I mean to demote blogging and idling away on Facebook/ twitter to beneath sleep, and yoga , on the priority list from now on!
Mornings are said to be the best time to practice, preferably at or just before dawn. I always used to think, well that’s alright if you live in india and you have nice bright mornings but not for me..not being a natural at mornings, it took being a parent of a toddler plus baby, to turn me into a “morning person”! So, that means its only happened in the last 3 months! So, now would be a natural time to work towards a morning asana practice.
I still maintain that even if morning practice is limited to some deep breaths and stretches while the kettle boils, this is yoga, and can have a really positive effect on your mood that day. And practicing yoga with your little ones counts too! For me, I have realised that I need the purifying benefits of a more full Asana practice now; my postnatal body is crying out for it!
I have decided that , especially as a parent of 2 young children, but I suspect for anyone, a regular, preferably daily asana practice has to be part of the daily routine, just as brushing you teeth is. Erm, hang on a minute, I don’t always do that either!! Well , on the same basis I think the way to look at it is, it’s a part of the daily routine, but if gets skipped because you wake up late / one of the kids is sick/ the dog ate your homework etcetc.. It’s not the end of the world! I try to go easy on myself these days and so if I did manage it on the majority of days in the week I would feel pretty pleased.

I loved the bit in the yoga Sutras on asana that says, any posture that is comfortable and steady is an asana. So, the morning feed can be turned into an asana by paying attention to posture and breathing; playing with your children can be done from an asana; we practice swinging , rolling and nursery rhymes in baby and toddler yoga classes, with an awareness of the body, exhaling as we stretch away , inhaling fully and expanding our chest as we begin. Even sitting blogging, can be an asana, she types, readjusting her neck , position of grumbly baby on lap, tilt of pelvis in seat of car…

Today is Pranayama day!
Pranayama translates as, controlling the movements of inhalation and exhalation. I have been practicing taking deep, full breaths at points throughout the day and will let you know how it goes tonight.