A mother and daughter strengthen their special bond by practicing yoga together. Independently, they wrote about their experience. Together, they reached the same conclusion.
From Laurel Alyn-Forest:
Yoga was my mom’s thing. I would see her practicing at home and hear about classes she’d attended, but I was a bit hesitant to come along with her to a class. I have always been pretty athletic but flexibility was never my strong suit. I would joke around with my younger ballet-dancing sister, pretending to touch my toes or straighten my legs in the air. I knew I wanted to improve.
Since graduating from college a year ago, my life has changed in many ways. After spending a summer in a national park and a few months travelling, I was back at home searching for a job. I had expressed a greater interest in giving yoga a try now that I was out of school but had limited funds being an unemployed recent graduate back from travelling. Being the insightful and thoughtful person my mom is, she got me a yoga top along with a starter pass and 10-class pass at Sellwood Yoga for Christmas! I was very excited to begin my practice and also a bit nervous about being new at something I knew would present challenges along the way.
After completing my starter pass I picked a couple classes I felt were best for me and began going a couple days a week. One of these classes was the Monday night Yoga for Athletes which I attended with my mom. Despite living together, our schedules were often so different we hardly got any time to catch up or hang out! Our Monday night yoga was something to look forward to: a time we could connect on the short walk to and from the studio and enjoy together. My mom has been a confidence booster for me by noticing my improvements and has encouraged me and laughed with me in difficulties.
I began to LOVE the way I felt both physically and emotionally from yoga. Now that I have a job and will be moving out soon, I don’t doubt that I will continue to honor our Monday night yoga tradition. My mom and I have always been very close but transitioning from being a dependent to being more independent is a big change for both of us. I feel lucky that yoga continues to bring us together and is something special we will continue to share.
From Kathy Wolff:
Last May my daughter, Laurel, graduated from college. The month preceding had been a whirlwind of weekend trips up to Tacoma: senior vocal recital, final concert, and graduation weekend. Within days of her move back home she left to work at Glacier National Park for the summer. In September she returned home for a week with just enough time to repack her bags before leaving for travel in Europe. Every adventure of hers has two meanings for me; deep appreciation and gratitude for all her life is offering along with a wistfulness (and, truth be told, some trepidation) at watching her go! My yoga practice has been a steadying force in my life through the comings and goings and as this role of parenting transforms with a child reaching adulthood.
Laurel returned from her travels just before the winter holidays with responsibilities looming and in a moment of parental insight, I bought a Sellwood Yoga class card for her Christmas gift. I wanted to offer her the same steadying internal connection that I’d found through my yoga practice. Laurel is an avid volleyball player, was part of a ultimate Frisbee team in college, and is an outdoor enthusiast. She’s strong, and quick, and loves action. So, yoga was going to be different. Still, she seemed genuinely excited about her gift.
It meant so much to me to see the wonderful way Laurel was greeted when she first arrived at the studio and how she has been supported in finding her own way at Sellwood Yoga. Now, we attend Savonn’s Monday night class together each week. Sharing yoga with my adult daughter has provided me with a path to more graceful parenting at this stage in our relationship. There are so many lessons and metaphors for life we can explore from our practices on the mat: breathe, be flexible, find balance, build your strength, don’t compare yourself to others, nurture yourself, find quiet, listen carefully, and, practice compassion. These the exact messages I want to reinforce for my children. Giving my daughter the gift of yoga has been a gift to me too!