When it comes to trying to be an enlightened mother, it’s essential to find ways and moments to take a self-care break. The more we take care of ourselves, the more love and care we have to offer our children (and partners). Yoga practice, of course, is where it all begins. Asana and yoga philosophy are the foundation. And small, daily breaks—a meditation here, a restorative pose there—can make a big difference in how we feel day to day. But every once in a while it can be amazing to add on something special, something indulgent, to the mix. And how much sweeter if you can combine self-reflection and mom-to-mom friendship with self-care?
My latest indulgence, body ache cure, and place to meet up and connect with mom friends equally in need of relaxation? The steam room and hot tub. I’ve even managed to do yoga while catching up with a friend and soaking in the steam room eucalyptus: I call it Legs Up the Steam Room pose.
There’s something about hanging out in a bathing suit and bathrobe with a friend, drinking lemon water and discussing your deepest hopes and dreams. It’s intimate, relaxing and deeply healing. The hot tub feels like a womb. All that warmth and water is the perfect companion to a yoga practice. (I feel the difference on my mat for days afterwards.) I just can’t think of anything more restorative than a few hours at the baths.
In Canada, my local community center had a fantastic, and inexpensive, swimming pool complex complete with a hot tub and sauna. Here in New York a friend took me to a day spa where you can pay a small-ish fee to use the “water bar” and spend hours escaping the city for a steam and spritz. There are a range of bath houses, varying in price and amenities, around the city and I can’t wait to try out more. (Some health clubs offer day passes too.)
Sure, it may only happen a couple times a year. But I’m going to enjoy every soak I can get.
Next time a friend asks you out for a “girls night” why not suggest a steam and a yoga class instead?
Jessica Berger Gross is the author of enLIGHTened: How I Lost 40 Pounds with a Yoga Mat, Fresh Pineapples, and a Beagle Pointer (Skyhorse) out in paperback now. “Like” her author page on Facebook. Follow her on Twitter. Visit her at www.jessicabergergross.com.