Once upon a time, I was busy. I worked full time, participated in not one, not two, but three team sports. I walked the dog, I cooked, I cleaned, I did the laundry and grocery shopped, I prepped meals for days in advance, I did it all! I was Superwoman and conquering the world. And then it happened, I had a kid.
Once my daughter came along, the entire world as I knew it changed. At the beginning it’s all about the physical world around you. You’re no longer working and are suddenly up two, three, four times a night to feed this screaming little “bundle of joy”. You’re tired, you eat anything that’s easy to grab with one hand, and you watch horrible daytime TV without even realizing you’re doing it. What you may not see immediately is that your emotional world has completely shifted as well. You’ve put this new tiny person before yourself. Baby always eats first, sometimes two and three feedings go by before you even have time to drink your cold decaffeinated coffee. The fur-baby that was rapidly demoted to dog waits to go outside as patiently as she can, and when you stop long enough to notice what smells, you realize you haven’t had a shower in three days. Myself, I’d stopped working out regularly, ate fast, prepackaged and processed foods, and didn’t sleep nearly enough to get as much cleaning, laundry, etc… done in a day as I could.
Of course it gets better, but the theme stays the same unless you acknowledge and change it. The kid(s) is always going to be number one now, but part of making sure that you’re being the best parent you can be is to take care of yourself. That looks different in each of our individual lives. I chose to return to work on a part-time basis and I’m lucky that this was an option with my employer. Of course there are days where I’d do anything to be in a quiet office with a Starbucks, but overall I feel like I have found my balance.
My balance looks like this: I’m a full time parent with a little bit of help. We don’t have family living close by for assistance, so YMCA Child Minding sees my daughter twice a week. This allows me to get in two solid gym workouts a week, all my other workouts happen at home – that’s my “me” time. She participates in activities twice a week, and I try to schedule those on days where I’m already at the YMCA to give us some free time other days. We camp, hike, and bike as a family so she sees an active family lifestyle every day. Although she’s still pretty small (just two), I let her cook with me. I feel like this teaches her that we cook healthy meals together at home. I work three to four evenings when my husband gets home from work which allows me to still have time to be me instead of Mommy. I’m able to utilize my education and to socialize with adults and not have the conversation turn into whatever the heck Curious George got himself into that morning. I also let perfection go, I no longer live in a pristine house – it’s messy (not dirty!) and cluttered with toys. Now my home is filled with love and laughter, so that’s a trade off I accept happily.
What do you miss? What is it that you slowly gave up but didn’t even realize until now? What are you going to take time to do for you and only you?
Whatever your situation is, I’m here to tell you that you need, and I mean NEED to take that time for yourself. Life is really busy if you let it be, and finding balance is an absolute essential to having your life be a happy one.
Calling all Yogis & Yoginis!
Saddletowne is happy to be offering the following registered Yoga classes starting this Spring:
Yoga – Active – Gentle
Starting March 31st
Barcode # 91864
Prenatal Yoga *NEW*
Starting March 31st
Yoga Active *NEW*
Starting April 2nd
Yoga – Active – Yin Yang *NEW*
Starting April 4th
Call 403-237-2393 to register. Check out our full program listings at ymcacalgary.org.
It’s time to distress before the holidays!
Shawnessy’s own Stacey M will be teaching a drop-in Yoga Nidra, deep meditation class on Thursday December 19th from 7:15-815pm in the studio located upstairs at the Shawnessy branch. Please come early to make sure you get a spot!
Offered at Shawnessy on Mondays, 5:00-6:15pm, Introduction To Yoga teaches you the fundamentals of basic yoga poses and allows you to grow your knowledge base and skill set in a safe and welcoming environment.
Find your inner silence and calm the world around you in Introduction to Yoga beginning on Monday September 9th.
Have You seen “Karma” on thr drop-in fitness schedule and wondered what it is?
Karma is a gentle yoga-based stretch class taught by certified yoga instructors.
The practice of Karma Yoga is designed to increase your flexibility and focus.
Karma will help to revitalize your body and spirit, incorporating the disciplines of proper breathing techniques, stress reduction, and muscular strength.
Karma is offered on Mondays at 7:15pm, and Fridays at 5:00pm at Shawnessy YMCA.
So now you know!
Tina Thrussel, Instructor, describes her experience with NIA:
The very first time I participated in a Nia class I cried… tears of joy! I couldn’t help myself; it just felt so good! After years of feeling stiff and rigid, I felt at home in body, given permission to move my body’s way. The music was uplifting and the movements were easy and fun.
This fusion fitness class seemed to be the answer to my prayers! The combination of the grace of the dance movements, the power of the martial arts and the relaxing stretching of yoga all felt so natural, so effortless… so freeing!! I was hooked!
Shortly after that first class, I became a Nia teacher myself. I’ve been sharing the Joy of Movement through Nia for more than 6 years now and I love Nia as much today as I did that first day.
A great workout
Dance-based, barefoot movement to uplifting music
Healing – on all levels!
A way to connect your mind, body and spirit
A place to feel the warmth of community
Nia is like chocolate – you just have to taste it to know how good it is! Come and taste Nia at the FREE demo class at the Saddletowne YMCA on Wednesday, Feb 13 from 5-6 pm.
Woman Who Dances with Light
(Aka Tina Thrussell)
Inspiring you to bring more Life into your life.
The registered NIA session will run as follows:
Wednesdays Feb 20-March 20
M$40 NM$60 (5 classes)
Call Member Services (403-237-2393) to register.
Part of the YMCA’s mission is to enhance Spirit, Mind, and Body. All branches offer a form of Mind/Body workouts to allow you to get connected with yourself and get zen. Check out your branch’s program guide to find out what mind/body classes are convenient for you.
Whether it be Yoga, Pilates, Fusion Fitness, or Karma, there is an opportunity for you to learn about the flexible side of whole body fitness and wellness.
Research shows the activities children take part in after-school—including clubs, activities and programs—have a significant impact on their successful development. YMCA has programs to help children be involved in healthy, positive activities during critical after-school hours.
One of these programs is YMCA School Support which focuses on academic support, social development and health and wellness. The school support program is held in various schools in Calgary and is free to students recommended by their teachers thanks to our generous donors and YMCA Strong Kids.
YMCA School Support is another way in which the YMCA is building healthy communities.
Writer Alexandra Sifferlin takes a look at which is more beneficial to keeping the mind healthy: Exercise or brain puzzles/games. This article on the Time Healthland website reads:
“In recent years, as more research reveals the benefits of staying both physically and mentally active into the golden years, health officials have been urging older people to exercise more and stay mentally engaged by maintaining a rich network of friends and family connections and by learning new skills to keep their brains sharp. Crossword puzzles, learning a new language, playing board games — anything that requires some thought can do the trick.
But researchers wanted to know whether physical activity or mental activity was better at keeping cognitive functions intact, or whether there was something about the combination that helped elderly stay sharp. So in the new study…”
This article includes links to related stories and easy ways to share out to friends via social media.
Writer Carole-Ann Mobley for Mind Body Green talks about how aligning our lifestyles with nature can lead to relaxation, calmness, and as a result, better health:
“Things will slow down more as trees drop their leaves and plants die back while their root systems dig deeper into the earth. Fall has always been a time of change for me personally. Whether it’s job changes or moving, I always start to feel the shift of things in my life this time of year. When we follow the rhythms of nature, our efforts are in alignment with the flow of the earth and things seem to go easier.”
Click here to read the full article on the Mind Body Green website.
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