When I was asked to write a blog about how yoga has helped me as a parent I declined wondering if yoga had helped at all. I was not in a good space. I felt nothing really helped me in my struggle as a parent. I had been separated from the mother before the birth of our child and it was very difficult to see the baby as much as I wanted to. I felt my rights were violated, I felt frustrated and I felt bitter. I started to understand how people and nations fight to defend their rights. My anger turned inward and isolated me from others. I experienced what is called the dark night of the soul, and I began to question everything including my own sanity. How could it be possible for someone who has been practicing and teaching a spiritual discipline like yoga and meditation for the last 10 years be unable to find peace and understanding in order to have a hand in raising my child full-time? In my despair, I lost my passion for yoga. I did however keep my meditation practice regular and continue to teach yoga classes as this was my main source of income.
A week after the request to write a blog, I thought it over and accepted to write something. I realized that yoga had indeed helped me but not in how I had initially believed it should have or in the way I had thought of yoga and parenting.
At first thought, yoga was the asana practice (physical part through postures and stretching), and unfortunately my practice ran dry. I had reached a plateau. Having taught asana yoga since 2006 and at times up to 13 classes a week in gyms, studios, and at the corporate level, my practice seemed to have run its course. I started loosing the joy I first had when I began many years ago. Thankfully, there was another yogic path I had discovered that sustained and inspired me in my darkest moments.
The yoga of devotion known as bhakti yoga became my main spiritual practice. Singing mantras with others in gatherings known as kirtans and creating music to accompany these sacred chants gave me the fuel to carry on. I recorded my first album entitled Birth of Ganesh and every month I would offer kirtans sometimes to as many as 30 strong voices. The energy, the joy, the upliftment was exactly what I needed to remain hopeful and positive. Apparently we are all in a vibratory state along with everything else in the universe, and the sound that yogic mantras and music in general makes somehow shifted the frequency I was in. It simply made me feel better when all else failed. I realized that when you feel better within yourself you become better equipped to deal with your challenges and handle your responsibilities. That is how Bhakti Yoga helped. It provided me an avenue to unleash my creativity by composing songs, release my emotions by chanting with others, and inspire me to a better future with sacred music.
With a faithful practice of devotional singing that l