What yoga taught me about parenting young ones through dark, early mornings


My latest for the Washington Post.

Here's the intro:
Like most of you, we turned our clocks back an hour here in Europe recently, too. So, also like many of you, my little 5-year-old morning glory has been waking chirpily at 5 a.m. every day now, and will likely continue to do so until we spring forward again next March. 
What can you do? My son has a set biorhythm, and no arbitrary daylight saving law is going to shift it. His body wakes up at 6 a.m., no matter what. It always has, and probably always will. 
And before you suggest it, no: that whole “put him to bed 30 minutes later three days ahead of time” tactic doesn’t work for us. Whether he goes to bed at 6 p.m. or 10 p.m., my little guy still wakes up at the same time. From canvassing my fellow weary-eyed friends, I know he’s not the only one. 
If there’s one thing parenthood has taught me, it’s that every kid is different. So for us, and families like ours, that advice can officially be shelved already. 
The first few years of parenthood, “falling back” felt like a cruel joke. I commiserated, red-eyed, with comrades whose children also rose perkily with the dawn while the rest of the world luxuriated in an extra hour of sleep. When other parents would tell me their little angels slept until 8:30 a.m. the morning our clocks fell back, I seethed, invisible smoke steaming out of my ears. 
But this year, something has changed. Not in his waking time, but in me and my attempt to find a way to live with it. 
I’ve been a yoga teacher for a decade and practiced Buddhist meditation and vinyasa yoga for 20 years. Sure, after all those sweaty hours in the studio, my body is strong and flexible, and that’s nice. But in potentially frustrating day-to-day moments like this — exhausted and resentful as I roll over to see the clock flashing 4:45 a.m. — yoga and meditation have taught me several immeasurable lessons....

You can read the full piece here.

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