I have. Smiling from ear to ear. A spring in my step. Improved posture. What, you ask, is up?
These six lovelies are all in school. Full day.
I admit it. And this doesn’t make me a mean, unloving mother. And I’m not out getting manicured and eating bonbons. I just know they are safe, engaged on so many important levels, and I’m able to use a different part of my brain…and take some time for reflection.
This brings me to today’s exciting guest contributor, Elex DiSanto Scheels. Elex was one of my first yoga teachers. During her classes—Friday night happy hour hot yoga at estudio—I felt many emotions (joy, exaltation, frustration yielding to contentment) and often found myself with a few tears streaming down my cheeks during savasana. So much love and appreciation for this woman who helped open my heart, mind, and body to yoga.
And now I have the honor to team up with her at one of New York State’s most eco-friendly, energy-efficient, and lovely wellness environments, Complexions Spa for Beauty & Wellness. Beginning in October, we’ll teach Moving Meditations on alternating Saturdays (Elex, 8-9:15 am) and Tuesdays (Lisa, 6-7:30 pm) in their newly renovated yoga-spa. We can’t wait! Stay tuned here (Lisa’s calendar) and here (Complexions’ Facebook Page) for more details.
I love the morning… in fact, I have actually thought of myself as a “morning person.” I would much rather go to bed earlier so I can rise earlier. I love how beautifully still everything is. How quiet and untouched it all is.
…until my children get up.
And it is at this point that I realize, unless I am up early enough to have a hot cup of coffee (undisturbed, fully drank) and have at least 30 minutes of quiet, allowing me to, in fact, wake up, I don’t care much for the morning. As I start to understand how I could have gone from loving the morning to dreading it, I realize, it’s not the morning that changed, it’s the people in it…
And then I think, this isn’t very fair of me… how can I possibly be upset when I have three seven-year-old children happily singing: “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” with an enthusiastic YA!! at the end of it over and over? They are happy, right? They are safe, they are healthy… The clarity in their voices with each “YA!” coupled with the marching (or should I say stomping?) up and down the hardwood-floored hallway (why didn’t I carpet the entire house?) reinforces their amazing energy and spirits, right? I should embrace these times… I should drink my now stale, cold coffee as I lean against the wall and smile. That’s how it is in the movies…
Of course, if my life were a movie, I would wake up looking extremely beautiful without a painful blemish on my chin. My eyes wouldn’t be THIS swollen and I wouldn’t be trying to figure out if my stomach is just bloated or if I really have gained 3 pounds from drinking those Stewarts Iced Coffees with that extra scoop of ice cream in it. No… if I were a movie, or better yet, a yoga book yogini, I would float from my bed into the magical day with no expectations, just a plain awareness of all that is wonderful…
If only it were that easy.
And I am a yoga teacher.
I practice yoga, I try to live a yogic life, but let me tell you this: I am grateful for my days, and I adore my children, but God help them (and me) if they sing that song one more time, because by now, they are singing in some strange accented tone, mixed with screams and laughter… I can’t get a word in to suggest quieting down. They want to “Give me a show,” but what I need is for them to brush their teeth, come get their hair done, get their shoes on and go out for the bus!
My feet hurt, they have been stepped on at least three times by the poor dog, who is so stressed out, so confused by which way he should go in our small house. I have had to go to the bathroom for the last 20 minutes but can’t because I’m making lunches, breakfasts and trying to manage three bodies into action (getting dressed and eating..) At this point I am mindfully breathing just so I don’t have an accident! Since I don’t have the proper time to self-loath over my weight or worry about puffy eyes and acne, it sits in the back of my mind…
So when the sweet face of my daughter says, “Mommy, ready for our show, are you so excited?” I say flatly, “No… I’m not excited at all, it’s actually a really annoying song. Will you go brush your teeth?”
Nice one, Mom.. way to encourage! All my crap exposed. My crankiness, my insecurities, my lack of patience all exposed.
And so… finally I see the golden light (actually School-Bus yellow) and they are kissing me and running off to begin another journey and I can come back, to the quiet. To the stillness.
And as I write to you — I consider that my morning is much like a yoga class. It starts with a few quiet breaths… and if I don’t set my intention right away, my lower qualities will take over because I will move into dynamic action where my edge and comfort zone are definitely tested/pushed and I will need my intention to help ground me, remind me… And as hard or crazy as all the action/movement is, it ends with the same quiet it began with…giving me another chance to set my intention as I move forth into my own next journey.
Thank God for that.
Namaste, my friends.
About Elex DiSanto Scheels:
Elex teaches a powerful physical asana practice with breath technique and spirituality to connect students with their Divine being. Her flow sequences cultivate mindfulness in motion. Her healing and compassionate assists come through both words and touch. She nurtures students – empowering them to awaken their souls as her sense of humor lifts their spirits.
Students leave class feeling valued, connected to something greater and inspired to live their personal truths, even off the mat.
Elex has been practicing yoga for over a decade and teaching for more than four years. Her primary training is under Bryan Kest Power Yoga and the Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga Institute. Elex also completed an additional 200 hours of study with Gopi Kinnicutt and is a registered teacher with the Yoga Alliance.
Elex lives outside of Albany, NY with her husband, Patrick, their triplets Sydney, Michael, and Cole and their English Bulldog, Gus.
Back to school: A guide for husbands, www.huffingtonpost.com