I walked into the packed studio excitedly looking for a place to set my mat. Yoga Santosha was a big studio on the second floor with a full wall of windows that had the most glorious natural light. I LOVED teaching there.

It could easily fit 50 or more students comfortably and they often hosted workshops with teachers from all over. Nikki Doane was my favourite; she came from Maui and I’ve taken 4 trainings with her.

As I laid out my mat I started chatting with the students and yoga teachers there. Many were from other studios, and there was always a few studio owners as well.

Yoga in Calgary always felt like a warm welcoming and loving community to me.

I taught yoga all over downtown and southwest Calgary and I had a group of students following me from location to location.

Yoga, just like it’s teachers, and visiting yoga teachers were seen as resources to be shared and celebrated among the entire community, not just one studio.

And do you know what? It flourished.

More yoga to share, meant more yoga for everyone.

It was amazing.

Maybe this is a big city thing, but in smaller communities it never felt that way to me.

It felt there was a belief among studios that there was a set number of people doing yoga and if someone else is teaching them, it means you were not.

My (very crappy analogy, but you’ll get it) is that when we believe there is only so many people doing yoga is like there is only one pie of students to be divided among the studios. So everyone was trying to figure out how to get a bigger piece.

Whereas in Calgary, they just made more pies.

What does this have to do with self-love and time for yourself?

Most moms struggle with taking time for themselves for 2 reasons, lack of time and guilt for taking that time.

I’ll speak to lack of time later, but for now I want to talk about guilt.

I had a mom who was substantially financially resourced tell me that $20/month for Quick Bliss Yoga felt like too much because that $20 could be going to her family.

She felt that if it went to her, it was taken away from her family.

I’ve had other moms say they felt guilty because time for themselves meant time away from their kids. Even though she had 23 more with them every single day, and she felt resentful and exhausted for many of them.

I’ve also heard moms say they felt guilty because they didn’t want to burden their partners with child duty. As though their partner would feel this way if it was reversed (trust me, they don’t).

This is the pie dilemma. Time is not one pie that if you take a piece of it to yourself, there is less for everyone else.

There is an abundance of time, the sun comes up every single day without fail. You have endless pies to enjoy and savour.

There is also something to say for the quality of time you give back when you take your piece of the pie and enjoy it. When you have a full belly and happy heart, you are more patient, compassionate, tolerant, and loving instead rather than feeling resentful, overwhelmed, and exhausted by your deprivation.

We can only starve for so long before we get hangry.

Lastly, and most importantly. This is a family pie, meaning you are automatically included in the pie. In fact, you baked the damn pie! You are not the family dog hoping you get a few crumbs that drop to the floor. You, just like everyone else in your family, is entitled to eat pie because you are all in this unit together and the pie does not exist without you.

Just like a thriving yoga community, a thriving family requires us all to support and champion each other. And that means making a lot of pies and enjoying eating them too.