BENGALURU: Parental burnout is a real thing people. Just like you can burn out from your job, you can burnout by parenting too hard. Prolonged bouts of insomnia, eating leftover pureed turnips and singing ‘The Wheels on The Bus’ (often at the same time), planning playdates, birthday parties, agonising over return gifts and koi bag goodies, finding the right school, dealing with Alpha Moms and their scary Alpha children, getting homework, surviving Sports Day and dress-as-your-favourite-freedom-fighter-day, making working models of the digestive system with dried pasta (and then eating the dried pasta because of stress), exams, exam results… guess what? None of it is very good for you.
If you’ve experienced one, two or three of the above (if you’ve experienced ALL of the above, I hate to break it to you, but you’re probably dead), then you need to introduce the ameliorating effects of yoga into your life. Below, I share five asanas that I have personally used to combat parental burnout, if practised every day. (It doesn’t count if you don’t post it on Instagram.)
1. Downward facing dog or Adho mukha vnsana: This asana helps stretch the shoulders, legs and spine and also calms the mind and lifts the spirits. It’s also a great asana to navel gaze with (getit?) and when you see how much fuzz you’ve allowed to accumulate in your belly button over the years because you’ve been too busy wondering why your son refuses to wear red, it will put everything in perspective. Breathe.
2. Upward facing dog or rdhva mukha vnsana: Relieves fatigue, stimulates abdominal organs and firms the buttocks. I recommend barking loudly like a dog when you do this asana. Your kids will think you’re nuts and stop asking you where their underwear is. Plus you’ll end up with a tighter tushy, so double score!
3. Wind liberating pose or Pavanamukstasnana: The name says it all. One way to effectively use this asana is to invite your children into the room and then let one rip. Clears the system. Clears the room. Clears the stress.
4. Laughter yoga or Hasyayoga: If you’ve been snickering at the senior citizens laughter club, the jokes on you. Laughter yoga is based on the belief that voluntary laughter provides the same benefits as spontaneous laughter. Forced laughter soon turns into real and contagious laughter. It may be bitter, hysterical and tinged with sadness… but hey, a laughs a laugh right?
5. Corpse pose or Shavasana. There’s really nothing better than lying down, blocking the world out and… playing dead. Refuse to rise to the bait of kids poking you, sitting on you and threatening to paint the cat. Instead, search for your inner silence. You won’t find it because you lost it the minute you allowed small people into your life. Don’t feel bad. If you play dead for long enough, the children will get bored and go and bother the other adult. Or paint the cat.
Of course, if none of these work, you should just tell everyone you need to go on a yoga retreat to re-balance your chi and book a one way ticket to Bora Bora. (Please consult a physician or Instagram yoga expert before practising the above asanas.)