“Mamata” means mothers love in the Sanskrit language.
Raising a child is a life-changing and spiritual experience. Children make us see the world differently and they inspire us to want to make the world a better place. Our children are our greatest triumph but are also our deepest sadness. They reflect and mirror us like a lake reflects a mountain. A content parent will have a content child. A disconnected parent will have an anxious child. Parenting is a roller coaster ride of emotion which lasts a life time.
Yoga and mindfulness provide us with the tools to manage this emotional journey. These ancient practices can help us transform our minds to find a sense of balance and relief from the daily pressures of work, family and play.
We all long for happiness but in seeking it, we often destroy it. Happiness is not about materialistic wealth, it comes from within. We can learn so much from our children. They live absorbed in the present moment, without fear or judgment. They live with open hearts and minds.
Your child is your Guru.
Yoga is not just a physical practice of poses. The yoga principles are about being compassionate and kind to yourself and others. It is about being truthful, being content, letting go, nourishing your body, and purity. Yoga is about the connection between the teacher and the student. Like a parent and their child.
Yoga is the pathway to meditation which is the calm the thought waves of the mind. It does not stop our thinking mind but it brings the mind home, to rest in its natural state. Being a parent and being on a spiritual path is the same. We can read all the books about parenting or spirituality but we only learn through experiencing the journey.
Mindfulness meditation is literally living in the present moment. The art of paying attention to whatever you are doing without any judgment. The purpose of practicing a mindfulness meditation is not to eliminate our thoughts but just to notice them. This will reduce the impact it has on our emotional state. It helps us be able to choose what we are paying attention too and how we are relate to our experiences.
We live in a frantic world that is plugged into technology which over-stimulates our minds and we find it very hard to relax and switch off. We have high-stress levels, are time poor, suffer from physical and emotional pain and insomnia. Mothers in particular, are stressed with little break from the daily routine. A yoga or meditation practice helps us connect to who we truly are, leaving us feeling content and calm. It empowers us to be able to juggle the daily routine and be great role models for our children.
Compassion is a practice we can use to parent our children. I am not a calm parent. I shout because I was shouted at as a child. We parent how we were parented and this can be a very hard cycle to break. Mindfulness teaches us to respond and not react in this pre-conditioned way.
We can learn how to deal with these emotions using breathing techniques and meditations which change our perceptions. We can see our child as another version of ourselves. They have feelings and want happiness too. We can see them as superior and practice humility. We are incredibly busy as parents and we could easily miss our little one’s childhood. By learning how to be present and spending quality time with our children we will experience more happiness. Our children will thrive from this too.
Children struggle as they absorb our manic energy. With pressure from school, being over scheduled and with little quality time with their parents, children are often left feeling anxious.
The power of teaching children yoga and mindfulness can have a profound effect on their lives. Instead of just teaching them to read and write, we also need to teach children the art of reflection and empathy so they can have good relationships. Children need to be taught how to be strong on the inside so they are resilient and have tools to deal with the tribulations of life.
Here is a message on how you can create mindful moments in your day:
1. Whisper in your child’s ear while they are sleeping that they are loved. This message goes to their higher self and creates connection especially if you have been too busy to tell them during the day.
2. Hug your child and absorb the moment by inhaling their loveliness using your senses and synchronize your breath with theirs.
3. Every time you hear a siren with your child send a loving kindness message to the people that are involved in this emergency.
Love and light. What does mindfulness mean to you?
Leonie is a yoga teacher, loving mother and writer. After losing her family connection through a divorce, Leonie has combined her degree in psychology and passion to make a difference in this over stimulated world to create her business,Yoga Mamata.