Welcome to Chime's YogaView series! Each month, I interview yoga teachers and practitioners to learn how their yoga practice is an empowering force in their lives. This month, Tracy Kane shares how her yoga practice helps her face the daily challenges of motherhood and offers a few pearls of wisdom for new yoga teachers.
1. How has your yoga journey on and off the mat evolved with motherhood?
Here's the scoop on Tracy: She is a Certified Baptiste Teacher and Lululemon ambassador. She is passionate about living fully and experiencing life NOW. She loves her yoga practice, which keeps her grounded and she feels the most lit up when she is teaching and sharing her yoga journey with others. She desires to be of service and spread her love of Baptiste Yoga to her community. Tracy is happily married to the love of her life, John, and is a full time mommy to three awesome children. She is a lover of music, the beach, lululemon, and good conversation. Tracy teaches at several yoga studios in South Jersey, including her home studio, My Yoga hOMe. Connect with Tracy at Tracykaneyoga.com.
My yoga journey has changed so much since I became a mother. Being a mother is not easy. Many days I feel like the worst mom. Yoga provides me a place for space where I am more aware of who I am rather than who I think I should be. I am more aware of my actions and reactions. My practice helps me work hard at being present and patient for my family. I show up more. I listen (to myself and others). I don’t hide and resist change. I am more flexible (on and off mat).
I am so proud of my current asana practice, too. I rock crow, handstand, and grasshopper. All of these poses were very challenging and not a part of my practice before I had children. Motherhood has strengthened me mentally and physically. It has also given me the courage to conquer my fears about doing advanced poses.
2. How does yoga help you approach the challenges of motherhood?
Yoga helps me look at these challenges and face them head on. Instead of running away, I stay with what's in front of me. Just like in asana practice, when I am faced with a challenging pose, I stay with the discomfort and breathe. I work on reacting less.
3. What’s your secret to finding balance between teaching, practicing, and family life?
A supportive husband and children. Without their love and support, I would not be able to teach or practice yoga. If I am unable to practice or teach for any length of time, I withdraw and disconnect from others. Yoga grounds me.
Learning to let go of guilt has also helped me to achieve balance. I used to feel guilty for leaving my children to go to a yoga class. Over time, after not practicing, I would become out of balance. I have come to realize that it is healthy for my children to see me doing something for myself. Plus, I am a much nicer person after yoga.
4. Why do you practice and teach Baptiste?
Because of the Baptiste community. I love being a part of that inspiring, uplifting, and powerful community. I love the Baptiste methodology. It works for me, and I have seen it work for so many of my friends and students. The Baptiste methodology helped me create a space for freedom and happiness. Because of the asana and self-inquiry practices, I am in a much better place emotionally and physically.
5. What are your favorite asanas and why?
I love headstand and chaturanga. I love headstand because it challenges me. Being upside down is scary, yet I love how this pose centers and grounds me. I have to focus hard when I am in that pose. Chaturanga is powerful and energizing. I love how strong I have become since my very first low pushup. Very inspiring!
6. Share a pearl of wisdom for new teachers.
The best advice I can give is to practice teaching a lot. Teach anywhere and everywhere. Ask for feedback (don’t be afraid of it). When you feel stuck or unsure if you want to teach, ask yourself why you became a teacher in the first place. Reconnect with your passion and goals. Bring yourself back to your WHY.