Sunday, May 9, 2010

Day 22 - My Mom

Of course it's mother's day today, and so as I sit to write out a card for my mom, I am reflecting on all the things my mom has introduced to me and all the ways she has influenced me. I am perhaps one of the few daughters who isn't offended when someone (example boyfriend) tells me, "You're just like your mother."

I actually think its kind of interesting when I'm compared to my mother. It makes me feel part of some great lineage of women. And I think it's funny the older I get the more similarities I discover between my mother, my grandmother and I. When I'm late, for example, I can say, in honesty, that I learned my time management skills from my mom, and when I spend an hour putting together some fantastic and random 'never-before-seen' outfit, I say I got my eye for fashion from my supremely stylish grandmother.

I like knowing why I do things in a particular way and why I'm interested in certain things and not in others. Plus, the more I get to know myself, the more I get to know my family.

For more than 30 years, my mother, Marta, has started her day very early in the morning with meditation. She sits in the living room on an antique wooden chair facing west. Her feet are hip width apart and her spine straight. Her hands rest palm up on her lap. When I was young, maybe three or four, I found her morning ritual quite fascinating. I couldn't understand what she was doing, so I would mimic her, then climb on her and ask hundreds of questions like, "Why are your eyes closed? Are you sleeping? What are you doing? How long are you going to sit here?"

To entertain and quiet me, my mom would hand me one of her large gemstones and ask me to close my eyes and feel its magical, healing power. This would be my first introduction to meditation and energetic healing.

My maternal grandmother, who passed away nine years ago, was also into meditation and energy work. We called her "Baba" or "Babs," for short. She was an artist and extremely intuitive, even clairvoyant. She lived about two hours south-east of Montreal and would always give my brother and I full access to her art supplies when we visited. Although she was Catholic, she also followed of the teachings of Sai Baba, an Indian guru who has been called a miracle worker for many reasons.

Neither my mother or grandmother practiced yoga as I was growing up, but they did bring me to meditation groups, spiritual lectures, countless museums, and human rights protests, which were all key in my spiritual, creative and intellectual development.

My paternal grandmother is my only living grandparent and is also an amazing woman. Despite being close to 90, she always looks like a piece of art. Her outfits are extremely varied, always unique and well put together. She taught me how to be original and to think beyond fashion trends. She is also quit commanding, charming, and even flirtatious. I've been told that I am also like this.

This evening, in honour of Mother's Day, we had dinner with my parents, grandmother and brother. My mom was tired having just arrived home from teaching a yoga retreat all weekend, but she still agreed to do some sun salutations with me and pose for a few photographs.

Surya Namaskar Receipe: Day 22 - The Mama Salute

Today's sun salutation is appropriately called "The Mama Salute." It can be one of two practices: One, where you and your mother engage in a meaningful bonding experience, maybe sun salutations, or maybe something else you both enjoy. And if your mom isn't around, the other way to do the Mama Salute is to mother and care for yourself. Do the kind of sun salutations that are nurturing and comforting for you. I'll give you an example: today, I had a splitting headache for large part of the day, and as you may know, forward bending with a headache can be really unpleasant. To ease some of the throbbing, I did most of my sun salutations with a long rest in child's pose instead of downward dog and I made sure my breathing was sooth and deep and it helped.

So, to conclude for this evening, I encourage to let your intuition guide you and really take care for yourself, even mother yourself, during your practice.


  1. Hey Yas

    Your Mom sent me a link to your lovely blog. Keep up the good work and the good heart

    Love and Laughter