Woah, Mama! (An interview with Brandy Lyn)
Hey Brandy! We are SO STOKED you’ll be joining us this November at #onefirefest. Thanks for making the time for this interview. Id love to pick your brain about so much, but I’m gonna start with this: I’m a single mama, and I know you are too. What would you say is one of the hardest parts about parenting? And how does your yoga practice help?
Loaded question! The hardest thing about parenting is always being “on” and being responsible for the development of another human being. Especially as a single mother, the whole “it takes a village thing” rings true. It’s hard for me to accept help, let alone ask for it but I’ve had to learn. It’s a dream of mine to be able to parent in a more village-type atmosphere. Then there’s the mom guilt…I’m working on that too. Yoga is like medicine for me. It’s where I find my center. It’s where I find me. It’s where I make my living. It’s where I feel the most comfortable in my skin. Yoga doesn’t just help, it’s the root from which everything else flourishes.
Couldn’t agree more. Do you have a home practice? If so, do you ever involve the children?
I do have a home practice that I’m incredibly grateful for. It’s one of the many gifts I’ve received from ashtanga yoga. There are many days where leaving to go practice isn’t a possibility, so I roll out my mat and practice at home. The kids are involved how and when they want to be. My 5 year old will practice about half the time with me, my 3 year old mostly just likes to jump on my back for a updog/downdog ride. There are a lot of interruptions, part of the yoga lessons. They get it though. Mama is better when she yoga. I love it when I watch them play and move and the yoga they see me do is part of their play. They both love chanting and my oldest is drawn to meditation.
That is so incredibly sweet and beautiful. I think my 3-year old is also starting to make that “yoga=happy mama” connection. How do you think yoga helps your kiddos? Do you ever take them to kids yoga classes?
Yoga keeps them fluid. In mind and body. It keeps them centered and teaches them about being in their body. I don’t take them to formal kids yoga classes, I bring them with me when I teach once a week. Sometimes my oldest will practice when I teach and the little one usually just comes in and watches and makes faces at himself in the mirror. It’s important to me that they see what mama does when she goes to work. That they see how much I love what I do. That they understand going to work doesn’t have to be a traditional job. It’s my great dream for them that they find their calling and trust themselves enough to follow where that leads them.
Awww. That is amazing. I love all of it. Aside from yoga, what self-care rituals do you practice? daily? weekly?
I have a meditation and a yoni egg practice. I’d like to say daily, but it’s more like 3-4 times a week. When I put my kids to bed at night, I’ll often meditate as they drift off to sleep. I’m a sucker for a hot Epsom salt bath, a cup of tea and a book.
Yes, yes, and yes. Do you have a mantra? Have you received any inspiring advice recently? Are you reading any self-growth books?
No mantra. Recently a woman reminded me that our gifts come through us, they are not of us. It’s pretty easy for me to start doubting what I can offer….the whole “who am I to think I have enough experience to share?”. I think part of being humble is realizing that the things I have to share are not mine but that it is necessary to share them. I’m currently reading Ashtanga Yoga Practice and Philosophy. Just finishing up Yoga Mala and the Queens Code. Just starting the War of Art and Burning Woman.
One of my teachers swears by the War of Art, and a fellow-Bikram teacher/yoni-egg enthusiast Ann Marie Paul recently recommended I read the Queens Code. I wish we lived in the neighborhood for weekly tea/book club dates! But alas. Tell me, what are some of the projects you’re currently involved in?
I’m hosting a women’s retreat in Costa Rica with my sister Riji in September. The focus of the yoga portion of the retreat is the Advanced 84 series and we are excited to be doing a service project while we are there this year. I’m deeply in love with the 84 series and the last one was pure magic. I’m thrilled to be with you all in Mexico for One Fire in November. Over the winter, I’ll be doing weekend women’s retreats in Park City. Next spring, I’ll be running a 26/2 training in Jackson Hole, Wyoming for Inversion Yoga. If the stars line up, i hope to be in Mysore, India to further my Ashtanga studies.
Woah, Mama! And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why we are STOKED to have Brandy at One Fire Fest.
Interview by Mishel Ixchel
image via brandylyn.com