Since Rascal was born, so many people have been asking me the same question: “How do you do it all?” How do I juggle two kids under three, five blogs, a business, teaching yoga, cooking dinners, racing to the gym every day to lose my pregnancy weight (is it, INDEED, still pregnancy weight at EIGHT months postpartum? I AM still nursing, though…!!) — all this, on virtually no sleep for 8 months…?

Truth is, I’m EXHAUSTED. Completely run down. I’ve NEVER had bags under my eyes — until now. Eyes are BURNING all the time. If I don’t have my Starbucks chai-tea-latte caffeine fix, I’m a total zombie. So, to answer the question, I do it all, yes, but it’s taking its toll. There’s only so much one can do do do go go go….

So, I’ve cut down on the working out. Despite HOTTNESS of green-eyed kickboxing instructor, the LAST thing I need is VIGOROUS exercise to officially RUN ME DOWN to the ground.

I’ve cut down on the working out and started focusing more on my diet to achieve the balance I crave, the balance we all need to stay sane, strong, healthy, creative and productive. I’ve replaced the rigor and wear-and-tear of working out with gentle(ish), meditative dusk walks and MORE YOGA. I pretty-much ONLY go to the gym for yoga now. And, I’m SO lucky (it is, indeed, luck) that the yoga teacher at my gym is WONDERFUL, wise and inspiring.

That’s how I do it. Yoga. Meditation. Daily.

I never understood the beauty of this one particular pose — Savasana — until now…. Corpse pose. Relaxation pose.

Simply lie down. Palms facing up. Completely relaxed. Breathing easily. Sink into the floor. If thoughts arise, notice them and then let them go. Just BE. See what happens.

Sometimes, we do Savasana at the beginning of the class. Always, we do it at the end of the class. I used to give my students 2 minutes of Savasana at the end of the class, just for the sake of it. But, now…, I know better. A good 5-10 solid minutes has to be devoted to this pose — more, if time permits.

The most amazing things have been happening to me in my Savasana pose. When I take up Savasana, I never know what will happen. One time, I COMPLETELY cured an anxiety that was darkly plaguing me. Another time, I was strangely NAUSEOUS and struggled to stay still (still, a beautiful thing — a challenge). And, just today, I floated on the edge of consciousness, in space, looking down at Earth, at our little yoga class, at the Middle East, at green forests, rolling waters, bustling cities….These little creatures trying to balance their teeny little lives, and, at the other extreme, wreaking so much havoc. I “awoke” with more clarity and perspective….

I often see students getting up and leaving the class when we get ourselves ready for the final Savasana pose. I used to be tempted to do so myself. Now, I’m like, “WHAT are you guys doing? WHY are you depriving yourself of SUCH a TREAT! SUCH a simple INDULGENCE?”

The most AMAZING things happen in Savasana at the end of a rigorous, focused yoga class. I NEVER know what the pose will bring…. It is officially my favourite pose right now: mysterious, healing, challenging, relaxing, rejuvenating….

Cheaty highly recommends….

A walk. Not for the body as much as for the spirit. The calories burned are a bonus, but not the goal.

Dusk. When the sun goes down. Twilight. The meeting of opposites — night and day.

Monkey: Is it night, Maaama?
Me: No, Monkey. It’s not night and it’s not day.

Dusk, Claude Monet, Venice, 1908

The perfect time for reflection…

I took a walk at dusk this evening (Friday). Had Josh drop me off at the store after we had dinner at it’sgrandma’s. He was going to wait for me in the car, but I told him to go home and that I’d like to walk.

It was so peaceful. So calming. So freeing. Totally cleared my noisy head.

Dusk, Wassily Kandinsky

To me, dusk is a magical time. It has been since high school, when BFF Erna and I used to start our evenings at “dusk” (we’d end our evenings at the Dance Cave — an alternative-music CAVE of the DANCE…)

So peaceful….

The world takes on beautiful glow at dusk.

I’m going to try to make a habit of walking at dusk. By myself or with monkey…. I’d love to drag take a cat along, but I’m not THAT cat-lady…. I think this daily walk could save my sanity. It certainly did today.

UPDATE: Second day in a row of walking at dusk. I took the monkey with me and showed her all the magic things that come out at dusk. The magic trees, the magic mirrors (store windows), the magic cars and garbage…. We looked for fairies and found two.

Sunset on Lamplight Lane, Thomas Kinkaid

By the time we returned home, it was, indeed, night….

This special Dusk Walk turned out to be beautiful bonding for us. I knew it would be when I suggested the monkey throw a jacket on over her pajamas and come out with Maaaama.

Cheaty Highly Recommends…DUSK.

I was supposed to take the night off tonight. And, God knows I need it. Who ever thought one would need a VACAY from blogging. It’s work, you know?

It’d just be nice sometimes to chill at night and do nothing. Watch TV. Read a book…. But, then, when I actually GIVE myself a night off — like tonight — I kind of want to write something….

Tonight, instead of writing, I could be chilling in bed with the new book I’m reading, thanks to FAB reader, MEL, who wouldn’t SHUT UP about it.

I usually don’t do what Oprah says…. But, there’s a lot of BUZZ about this book; so, as a yoga teacher and as a blogger (and, again, because MEL wouldn’t SHUT UP about it!), I thought I should check it.

…Aaaaaand, I’m loving it. It’s really well written, CLEARLY explains abstract concepts, and it makes a whole lot of sense on various levels (personal, philosophical, religious, political, ethical, etc., etc.). Cheaty HIGHLY recommends….