"Okay, Molly! Let's go and put on your yoga clothes!" I said this morning, instantly regretting it.
We had been looking forward to Mommy and Me yoga for days. Weeks, even! And now I'd just gone and blown the whole thing.
I'm not what you would call an "athletic" person. I don't "work out" or "go to the gym" or "own a sports bra." I don't run unless I'm chasing a runaway three-year old down an aisle in Target and I don't sweat unless I'm outside playing with my kids. And then I'm whining about it.
I've never needed to watch my weight (not bragging, just genetics) and I don't really give a shit that I have zero muscle tone in any area of my body. So, I've never been one to "exercise." (And to prove to you how little of the activity I do, I will admit that I just wrote the word "exercise" like this: Exercize and would have left it like that if not for the red, squiggly line alerting me to my mistake.)
In college, all of my roommates Went To The Gym. They ran and got sweaty and toned their muscles and they swore to me that they enjoyed it: That it cleared their heads and made them feel great. So I tried it. And it sucked so I never went to the gym again.
But then I found Yoga.
I started practicing in college and continued on and off until I took a prenatal class while I was pregnant with Evan. Once I had the kids, I wanted desperately to get back into it but could never seem to find the time: I wouldn't have hired a babysitter to take a class, I didn't want to "give up" an evening to take a class, and I wanted weekends to be Family Time. And then, before I knew it, it had been more than seven years since I'd practiced and my muscles started twitching, yearning for some sun salutations and my mind started itching, yearning for some mindful breathing and focused concentration.
I discovered Bend: A local yoga studio that offers prenatal classes and classes for parents and kids.
My perfect re-entry into yoga. The perfect Thursday morning Zen for Molly and me.
Today was our first class and I could not have been more excited. Molly was excited, too!
But then I had to go and mention "yoga clothes."
There was nothing different about her clothes today: comfy cotton capris and a cute little tee shirt. But because I had called them "yoga clothes," she resisted. And her refusal of the clothes morphed into a refusal of the concept of yoga altogether.
"I no wear yoyo clothes!" she insisted. "And I no go to yoyo." (Arms crossed, furrowed brow, the whole bit.)
I knew how to play this game, though, so we just went about our daily routine (after a deliberate wardrobe change). Every time she said, "I no go to yoyo," I replied, "I hear you, honey!" in the happiest, most cheerful voice she's ever heard.
When it was time to go, I simply said, "Let's go to the Downtown Mall, okay?" I wasn't exactly lying, the studio is located on the Mall. And when we arrived at the studio, I said, "Hey, wanna go in here and play some games with me?" Again...technically accurate.
So we went in.
She was quiet, but sweet and happy. And she watched.
She watched as we unrolled our mats. She watched as we warmed up our yogi bodies with a breathing exercise. She watched as we warmed up our yogi ears with a listening exercise. She watched as we began our "Sun Dance" and performed our sun salutations (though she did sneak in one downward dog when she thought I wasn't looking). She watched as the other kids and mommies practiced yoga by imitating animals. And she watched, and announced loudly "I just watching," as we all lay quietly, meditatively, in shavasana, the final relaxation pose.
And as we walked out of the studio, she wrapped her arms around my neck and said, "Yes. I LOVE yoyo, ma!"
Then, as if to fill my day with complete Zen, she refused to nap in her crib. Instead, she curled her not-so-tiny-anymore body up in my lap, fit her head comfortably under my chin, twirled a strand of my hair around her fingers, and slept. Asleep on my lap, she still smells and feels like my baby.