The Yoga of Parenting
Ten Yoga-Based Practices to Help You Stay Grounded, Connect with Your Kids, and Be Kind to Yourself
by Sarah Ezrin
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Pub Date 06 Jun 2023 | Archive Date 13 Jun 2023
Shambhala Publications, Inc., Shambhala
Bring the wisdom of yoga into your parenting journey.
Mom and yoga teacher Sarah Ezrin offers 34 practices to find more presence, patience, and acceptance—with your child and with yourself.
“I can say without a doubt that the most advanced yoga I’ve ever done is raising a child,” writes Sarah Ezrin. While many people think of yoga as poses on a mat, The Yoga of Parenting supports people in bringing the spiritual principles of yoga into their lives—particularly their families. Ezrin, a longtime yoga teacher, supports readers and practitioners in slowing down, becoming present with our children and ourselves, and acting with more compassion.
Each chapter highlights a yogic posture and theme and explores how it relates to parenting, including presence, boundaries, balance, and nonattachment. Chapters include prompts such as intention setting, breathwork, and journaling. Ezrin also features the stories and insights of a wide range of yoga practitioner parents whose experiences include single parenting, grandparenting, and passing on intergenerational yoga traditions. In addition to the opening posture, each chapter includes:
- “Breath Breaks” invitations to mindfully breathe.
- “On the Mat” practices to show us how we can apply the lessons on our yoga mat in a more general sense.
- “Parenting in Practice” offering and advice from parents in the US and abroad.
- “Off the Mat and Into the Family” fun exercises to help us bring the work off the mat and into our homes.
Practicing yoga can help us become kinder to ourselves, more aware of our thoughts and actions, and more present in our lives. What more important sphere to want to become kinder, more aware, and more present than with our families?
“With depth, storytelling, and experience, Sarah Ezrin draws from the wisdom of yoga philosophy to bring empathy and appreciation to parenting, reminding readers that parenthood is a valuable and important spiritual practice in its own right. I wish I had The Yoga of Parenting when I was raising my kids. Fortunately, the benefits of this book extend to parents like me, who are beyond the early intensive parenting years. I love this book!”—Britta Bushnell, PhD, author of Transformed by Birth
“Parenthood is a wild ride with many different phases. The Yoga of Parenting draws from the Yogic tradition and teaches us to embrace the enormous responsibility and privilege of parenting with wisdom and humor. Sarah Ezrin gracefully weaves yoga asanas, personal stories, and the philosophical teachings from many different traditions. Staying grounded as a parent can be challenging on any given day and having real world techniques to guide us is truly a gift!”—Desi Bartlett, MS, CPT, E-RYT, author of Total Body Beautiful
“Mom-ing is hard; yoga can help. This optimistic book offers empathy, followed by gentle techniques for grounding and connecting so that your practice can uplift your parenting.”—Lizzie Lasater, yoga teacher, designer
“The Yoga of Parenting is not just for people familiar with yoga; it is accessible, relatable, and transformative for people with a longtime practice and those who never thought yoga was for them. Sarah skillfully weaves in storytelling, wisdom, and reflection to make this a truly practical guide for parents and caregivers on the messy and humbling journey of raising a human. Raising a child can break us or grow our soul. Yoga philosophy can offer a framework for allowing parenting to be the latter while acknowledging our humanity.”—Hala Khouri, MA, SEP, E-RYT, author of Peace from Anxiety
“The Yoga of Parenting is a soothing balm for all of us who have the privilege and challenge of caring for children. It’s like a long slow exhale, creating space for reflection in the midst of the chaos. Sarah Ezrin reminds us that parenting is a spiritual journey made up of opposites—of connection and separation, intimacy and boundaries, inhales and exhales. She offers us yoga teachings and practices to balance those opposites and cultivate a meaningful and peaceful family life.”—Jivana Heyman, author of Accessible Yoga and Yoga Revolution
“A central question for many parents who practice yoga is this: How to leverage the structure and power of on the mat yoga practice within the constantly changing, unpredictable, and hardly structured real life of being a parent? Sarah Erzin responds to this question in a generous, insightful, and practical way in The Yoga of Parenting. Clear-sighted and firmly rooted in the everyday reality of parenting, her book reminds the reader that in the realm of parenting practice does not make ‘perfect’—practice makes ‘possible.’”—Octavia Raheem, author of Pause, Rest, Be and Gather
“With insight, humor, and practical advice gleaned over years of experience, Sarah Ezrin has written a deeply meaningful book about yoga-informed parenting. As parents, we can use all the wisdom and support that we can get to stay grounded and connected to ourselves—and our children. Thankfully, Sarah has written this essential book to guide you on a path that's true for you, with plenty of warmth and not a drop of shame.”—Andrea Ferretti, former Senior Editor at Yoga Journal, Yogaland podcast host
“The Yoga of Parenting is the perfect nourishment for any parent. Sarah’s voice is potent and needed in the world. Her book is charming, disarmingly candid, and packed full of actionable wisdom. Keep it as a bedside reference, and in your tote for daily wisdom, as it will become a valued member of your reference library. The Yoga of Parenting will support you in your journey of presence, connection, and remembering what is truly important.”—Melanie Salvatore-August, author of Yoga to Support Immunity and Fierce Kindness
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Average rating from 6 members
This is a beautiful resource for all parents. It is full of great strategies, advice, and easy to implement ideas. This is one I'll return to again and again. Many thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the advanced copy of the book.
Since I was pregnant I was looking for an inspiring book about parenting. Two years later I finally found it in the yoga of parenting. As a devoted yoga practitioner I loved the parallels between yoga and parenting in this book and how you practice help you to be the better parent you can be. At least it helps me ! I think this book is appropriate even if you are not a devoted yoga practitioner because the pose are very simple one. It's much more about taking a little time to ground, to refresh and restart with a lot more patience, energy and presence. Give yourself a gift, read this book !!!
The Yoga of Parenting was such a fascinating and uplifting read! It really forced me to take a second to breathe and to look inside myself at some of the pieces I’m struggling with around parenting, and learning to let go. I’m not a perfect parent, but no parent is. Perfect isn’t possible, and perfection in parenting is an in achievable and unrealistic goal. It took me a while to get through because it’s not really the kind of book you plow through… in instead chose to read a chapter at a time and absorb as much as I could from it.
I gave it 4.5!stars rounded up because sometimes I found it a little wordy, and also because while I was pretty sure I knew what the yoga move looked like based on the name and description from years of yoga classes, I would have loved a few photo sprinkled in to help aid the instructions!!
Some of my favourite parts of the book are;
- the ten takeaways at the end of each chapter for busy parents (VERY HELPFUL!)
- the really neat yoga references and definitions (such as the definition/ meaning of vinyasa - you’ll have to read the book to find out!)
- each section starts off with a really good thought quote not by the author, thereby she incorporated relevant thoughts outside of her own.
My fav quote included is: “ Parenting isn’t about what our child does, but about how we respond. In fact, most of what we call parenting doesn’t take place between a parent and child but within the parent. —Dr. Laura Markham, Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids”
- the concept she introduced of LA PAUSE.
All-in-all though it was a great book I’d recommend, and I think there is something for all parents to get out of this book. Thank you NetGalley, Sarah Ezrin and, Shamblahala Publishing for the arc copy to read and provide a voluntary review. All thoughts and opinions are mine.
This book was a breath of fresh air! I loved how it was broken out into different sections & that each chapter correlated to a specific yoga pose & topic. It tackles a lot of common struggles/issues that parents face - both with their child and themselves. Sarah provided tons of resources to look into for further information as well. The topics covered were so relevant for me with an almost 2 year old and has helped me reset some areas/some of my mindsets. Really loved this and would suggest it to any parent - especially a new parent or expecting parent!
The Yoga of Parenting distills some yoga wisdom into insights that are relevant to modern parents. Divided into sections of Awareness, Transformation, and Connection, it touches on everything from finding calm to setting limits to social media to letting go.
As a long-time yoga practitioner, I appreciated seeing the yogic perspective applied to parenting. Each chapter begins with an insightful quote and includes posture information, yoga philosophy, and real life family examples. I loved the bullet-pointed lists of main takeaways at the end of each chapter. My biggest qualm with this book is when the author went into soapbox/memoir-like tangents, which I don't enjoy or find those useful in parenting books.
Thank you to Shambhala Publications and NetGalley for gifting me with an ARC to review. I enjoyed it!
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