I have gotten good over the years at putting my needs on The List. Mothers tend to put their needs in some nether-category, as though their needs are more like wants and therefore secondary (or tertiary). But when I give to myself, there’s more of me to give. It’s generous to be selfish, as it were.

Running, eating well, taking time for knitting everyday. These things improve me. I’m more patient, confident, energetic, happy, satisfied.

Physically I tend to go for very straight-forward hobbies. I run. I cross-train with weights. And to get better at those, you push. The work is harder until it’s easier, and then you make it harder again. There’s a rather linear mode of thinking to it.

This month of daily yoga, though? It’s playful. Oh, sure, I’m pushing at times. But there is always a push and a pull to yoga, an effort and an ease, and always there is surrrender. It’s a less linear path.

The yoga challenge I’m doing on Instagram is pushing me to try things out of my normal range. Here’s Wednesday’s pose:


It’s a faintly ridiculous pose, and I mean that in a good way. It’s called Bird of Paradise, and as you’ve got yourself all wrapped around and you’re crouched down with both feet on the floor there is a delicious moment as you lift one foot…Well, as my teenaged photographer said, “You really look like a bird when you hop around like that!” Have you seen Attenborough’s “Life of Birds” documentary? It’s marvelous, of course, but the section on the birds of paradise and their mating rituals is guaranteed to make you laugh. And so as I was hunched and hopping for balance, and as I was lifting and looking for the ease in the effort of the pose, I just couldn’t help but smile.

It’s play.


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