“You sometimes see a woman who would have made a Joan of Arc in another century and climate, threshing herself to pieces over all the mean worry of housekeeping.” – Rudyard Kipling
Being a mom is very difficult; this laborious job being made even more labor-filled with the added job of homemaker. It just seems like the flow of chores never ends; day after day of cooking, cleaning, dusting, gardening, laundry, ironing, and whatever else needs doing around the house. It’s just crazy; it’s labor-intensive, never-ending, requires a whole lot of heart and dedication, pays nothing, and is one of those jobs that you can’t just quit. There are many homemakers out there who wish they could just submit their resignation letters, but to whom really? There is no other martyrdom quite like being a mother and homemaker.
Probably the worst part of it all is the lack of time; with everything that needs to be done, it always seems like we do not have any time to do anything but the housework and whatever our families need. We just have no time left to work on ourselves. Sad, but it’s the truth.
Well, just as any good homemaker knows, performing chores and daily activities are made more efficient and easy by time management, the fusion of several activities, and injecting a little fun, such as doing the laundry, while boiling potatoes, doing some vacuuming, and blasting some great music. Well, why can’t we fuse our daily chores and little yoga and meditation? When we are able to pay more attention to ourselves while doing our chores, then we will feel less bogged down by all the activity. All you need to do is find an activity that takes half an hour or so and cultivate total awareness of the body while doing your work.
Breathing deeply and diaphragmatically is always a good place to start. Always pay attention to you breathing, allowing it to cleanse you entirely. Be aware of the posture you assume while doing your chores. Do you scrunch your neck or slouch? Do you extend your limbs sluggishly?
For example, ironing can be given a yogic element simply by focusing on your posture, standing erect, with feet apart or with knees bent, bending from the hips, and allowing the mind to focus only on the steady rhythm of the movement. Similarly, dusting can be turned into deep, relaxing stretches simply by paying attention to the stretch and to the muscles being put to work. Eventually, the hours will go by with you not even realizing it.
In addition, it is important to be totally present in every activity you do, whether walking, eating, vacuuming, cooking, or cleaning. For example, drinking water can be made into a sort of meditation. Drink slowly, appreciating the temperature and its taste, noticing its quenching effect on your body as it cascades down your throat. Being totally present in each moment makes each activity more enjoyable and meaningful.
When you learn to fuse yoga and its principles into your household chores, they become easier to accomplish. It also becomes easier to apply them to other areas of action. Eventually, you will stop thinking of your tasks as chores. More importantly, you will have more positive energy that will greatly impact your life and the lives of those in your household. Namaste.