Peaceful Productivity

This reflection on motherhood and the intention of peaceful productivity was written by our prenatal yoga instructor Corinne Farrell. 

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I teach on Wednesday nights….  At some point in the days preceding my class, I start to think about what intention may be most fitting for my beautiful mamas that week and invariably, the intention presents itself to me. It’s a magical process that I have come to trust and rely upon. Whatever the intention, it ends up seeming even more relevant for my expectant mamas, than any other population.  They are, after all, holding the future in their bellies.  

This past week I was still recovering from the madness of Thanksgiving week….my kids were home and extended family filled all the spare bedrooms and couches. It was that exhausted joy one feels after every successful large family gathering! I sat on my mat (after several days without a physical practice) and my beautiful young yoga teacher invited us to set an intention. As I sat there in my breath, peaceful productivity popped in my head.  In truth, Peace by itself is often my intention.  But with the holidays looming, I found myself thinking about navigating it all and vowed to navigate it with peaceful productivity in mind.  As I moved through my day, after the sweet, soothing and soulful class, the concept of peaceful productivity continued to pop in my head.  I realized, isn’t that what yoga (the physical practice mostly) is meant to be.  Peacefully productive.  Yoga teaches us to settle deeply into a pose, yet breathe and relax through the ‘work’. It teaches us we can do much with a calm and intentional manner.  And then… Chitta Vritta, my classic “monkey brain”, continued to bounce contemplatively from application to application. Ultimately, navigating the world in a peacefully productive manner would have deep and far reaching ramifications.  Individual’s personal health and stress levels would decease and how we interact with the world would be kinder and gentler, but also more effective…because things would get done!  

And then, as always, I came back to my mamas! Motherhood….could there be a better two words for the job.  When we invite peace….we invariably invite in joy, love and gratitude, all at the core of motherhood.  And productivity ….whether we like it or not, motherhood (parenthood really…but forgive me for focusing on my fellow mothers!) is a long string of being productive…feeding, diaper changes, safe guarding a space, making lunches, being a bus driver, holding space for our children, sharing their successes and failure, etc etc etc….the list is endless.  If as a mother, we committed to peaceful productivity every day, personal stress would decrease, the environment we create would be more beautiful, the lessons our children learn would be more positive ….and the intention we set out to the world would be contagious.  

More Chitta Vritta… my mind continued wandering and tangential thoughts were abound…. BIRTH….could there be a more appropriate place to embrace the concept of being peacefully productive.  Much of what I teach is to find the ability to relax when tense, to use your breath and have confidence in our ability as women to bring a life into this world.  

So last Wednesday, I invited my mamas to set their own personal intention, but also invited them to keep in mind the intention of peaceful productivity…not only for their practice that night….and every night following, but as they prepared for their baby’s birth and their journey into motherhood.  While every class intention always seems to be especially poignant for my expectant mamas….Love, transition, change, community…this one may linger with me for a while.  Maybe it the time of year with the holidays looming….maybe its just a realization of the nutty life we all live….but being peacefully productive may always be my silent intention lurking in the depths of my soul.   

I truly believe I am blessed to have found my way to teaching prenatal yoga.  I believe, with every ounce of my body, that there is no better time for a woman to be on her mat than with child.  Yoga teaches us intention, patience, breath, focus and so much more. Prenatal yoga allows us to celebrate and embrace slowing down.  It invites mama and baby to start their journey together with breath and intention.  I strive to create a sacred space for my new mamas.  A place that I hope in some small way will be part of the foundation of their peacefully productive journey through motherhood.