This morning, as I sat for meditation, the sound of my babbling baby playing peek-a-boo with my husband downstairs made a sweet and distracting background to yet another brief sadhana (spiritual practice). Rushed as usual, I launched into my practice of Kriya Yoga, an ancient meditation technique brought to the West by Paramhansa Yogananda. Most mornings start this way now.
Thirty minutes twice a day is what I can usually manage; quite a change from my previous practice. I long to meditate more, but motherhood has made that hard. When looking for inspiration, I sometimes recall the story of Meera Gosh, the wife of Yogananda’s nephew, who was said to rise at 3:30am in order to meditate before her children awoke. Although difficult to imagine as I shake the cobwebs of another sleepless night from my brain, I find it inspiring none the less – something to strive for.
Sadhana will never be the same. It’s something most mamas have to accept. Although it changes, it does not need to disappear. In fact, I need it more than ever now…it’s just different.
No more can I chant to my hearts content, because I’ll certainly wake the baby if I do. Yet, could there be anything more heart opening than feeding my child from my own chest? Not that I can think of. And how many hours have I now spent chanting while rocking her to sleep? Countless!
No more can I sit in the stillness without interruption…at least not as often and not for as long. It’s as if Tulsi has Kriya radar – if I’m practicing my Kriyas, especially at night, she senses it and wakes for a nurse. The good news is, I’ve gotten pretty good at practicing Kriya while nursing and it brings a whole new dimension to my relationship with Tulsi and with Divine Mother.
No more can I practice asana before meditation – if I do, I risk being interrupted even more. But, Tulsi seems to think mommy doing downward dog above her, as she plays on the floor, is pretty amusing.
So, my Sadhana has changed, but it remains the most important part of my day. In fact, I can’t imagine life without it.
When I yearn for longer, deeper meditations it helps to remember that this is a phase and one that is bringing me closer to God through service to a baby Krishna.
Namaste yogi mamas everywhere!