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I think that's one thing too that practice has taught me through the years. We want to sometimes hold on to something. Anything. But whatever it is we want to hold on to, it never can... you can't keep it forever. -Krista Shirley
Did you ever doubt the practice?
There's many times I've doubted myself as a person, or as a teacher or as a boss, or as a mother. Just if I'm doing the right thing, or am I making the right choices. Or, can I do it better? But with the practice, that again, I feel really really blessed because it's never been a question for me. I felt like I've always felt out of place in life, sort of I didn't fit in. But when I met this practice, or this practice found me, it was like I'd come home and there was a void that was filled immediately, and that continued to fill me up. And I've never ever question continuing to do my practice.
How Did Practice Change Through Pregnancy and After?
Because I was high risk during my entire pregnancy, I just had primary. I did primary up until the day I gave birth. I took six weeks off. Sharath was adamant to take three months. On that first six weeks, he was (my practice?). So when I went back at six weeks to teach, I started doing very modified practice. I was very gentle, I let it come back slowly, but it came back very organically and pretty quickly. Very differently in skip physically for sure, and it's never gonna be what it was before a child. As I changed and life experiences happened, the practice changed with it because nothing can stay the same. I think that's one thing too that practice has taught me through the years. We want to sometimes hold on to something. Anything. But whatever it is we want to hold on to, it never can... you can't keep it forever. The idea of an attachment really in a very tangible way.
We are in the age of householders. I'm enjoying experiencing that. It's hard. It's really hard. If I weren't getting up at 3 AM in the morning, then I couldn't do my practice before I taught. I have to teach, then I couldn't take my practice after because I have to take my son to school, and I have to manage my shala. So you just, when you take away excuses, you take away options. Then this is how it's gonna be. Then the rest follows, and it comes together beautifully.
What Advice Would You Give to Mom's?
A lot would come to me and they say, I can't back into my practice. I don't feel like I can commit time. Number one, I would say to moms, with Kaden practice back at six weeks. But for the first few months, I was practicing every morning at home. It was a different practice when you have an infant, and then a toddler, and then a young child. You know, they want you. They cry. They did this, say that. But I literally would put a little space, little cushions and toys when he couldn't even sit up. Then play next to me and practice. I have to stop and tend to him but I could practice still. It was teaching him mommy time. Mommy needs her yoga time, and I did that religiously. Then even when I was back to practicing pretty much every day during the week at the shala, and still every single week, one day a week, be at home practicing with my son, from the time that he was an infant up until now so that he could see that it was mommy time. Some practices were really unpleasant and they're certainly never the same as the practice at with undivided attention on yourself, on your breath, on your abundance. Every bit of that moving meditation just so good, but now my son lets me practice. What works best for me, and what will probably work best for every other mom is to get up before your family, before the rest of the world and do your practice then. That's the easiest way and that's what I recommend. Those moms out there that really want to get back to their practice, just make it a habit and a priority to get up early. Then moms will go, but I'm not getting enough sleep. Yeah, I spent a lot of years sleep deprived, but I got to do my yoga for me. And then I got to do what everything else that needed to be done. It's baby steps, but you just like to make it a priority. Just like you make priority for your kids. So, that's my best advice to moms.
Kaden: Can I say one word?
Krista: Sure what's that?
Kaden: Do yoga everyday.
Krista: Amen to that!
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Krista Shirley is a dedicated student, practitioner and Authorized Level II teacher of traditional Ashtanga yoga. She was introduced to this practice in 2003 and immediately embraced it as a daily part of her life because she was magnetically drawn to the healing this practice provides. For the last twelve years Krista has rolled her mat out each day because it is such an intrinsic part of who she is. Ashtanga Yoga has given Krista health and wellness, comfort, stability, peace, mindfulness and an outlet to work on herself and help others. To find out more about Krista you can visit her website at kristashirley.com or follow her on Instagram at @kristayogini
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For the first part of Krista Shirley's interview, click here.
Watch the part 2 of Krista Shirley's interview here.