Sarah Ezrin is a world-renowned yoga educator, content creator, mama, and the author of The Yoga of Parenting based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

414: The Yoga of Parenting

Sarah Ezrin

“I can say without a doubt that the most advanced yoga I”ve ever done is raising a child,” says Sarah Ezrin, author of The Yoga of Parenting. In this conversation we talk about balancing strength with sweetness, how to bring more prana—life force energy—into your life as a parent, and yoga tools that can help, including mantras to keep us grounded.

The Yoga of Parenting - Sara Ezrin [414]

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[00:00:00] Sarah Ezrin: I was on a similar trajectory as my siblings had done in their early years to, what had been going on with my family before they got sober and the practice became my lifeline. It was the first time I think in my life where I was in my body.

[00:00:23] Hunter: You're listening to the Mindful Mama podcast, episode number 414. Today we're talking about the yoga of parenting with Sarah Ezrin.

Welcome to the Mindful Mama podcast. Here it's about becoming a less irritable, more joyful parent. At Mindful Mama, we know that you cannot give what you do not have. And when you have calm and peace within, then you can give it to your children. I'm your host, Hunter Clark Fields. I help smart, thoughtful parents stay calm so they can have strong, connected relationships with their children.

I've been practicing mindfulness for over 20 years. I'm the creator of Mindful Parenting, and I'm the author of the bestselling book, Raising Good Humans, a mindful guide to breaking the cycle of reactive parenting and raising kind, confident kids.

Welcome back to the Mindful Mama podcast. I am so glad you're here, my friend. I hope you are subscribed and I hope that you have left a rating and review on Apple podcasts. If you've ever gotten anything from this podcast because it just makes such a big difference. And I really do thank you in advance from the bottom of my heart.

I really appreciate it. Today I'm going to be talking to Sarah Ezrin, a world renowned yoga educator, content creator mama, and the author of The Yoga of Parenting based in the San Francisco Bay Area. And Sarah says that, without a doubt, the most advanced yoga I've ever done is raising a child. And we're going to talk in this conversation about balancing strength with sweetness, how to bring more prana or life force energy into your life as a parent, and the yoga tools that can help, including mantras to keep us grounded.

So join me at the table as I talk to Sarah Ezrin.

Sarah, thank you so much for coming on the Mindful Llama podcast.

[00:02:18] Sarah Ezrin: Thank you so much for having me,

[00:02:20] Hunter: Hunter. I'm glad you're here. I'm excited to talk about the yoga of parenting and as we were just discussing, like this podcast back in the very beginning in 2013, it's called Yoga Stories Projects. There's a root of all of that together in it.

And I love your book, The Yoga of Parenting goes through 10 yoga based practices to help you stay grounded. I love that. I love that. But let's like, when I, when, whenever we talk about parenting, I love the idea of contrasting what we're doing now, what was before. So maybe we can start with you and how are you raised and what is your child?

What did your childhood was like?

[00:02:59] Sarah Ezrin: First of all, again, I just want to thank you so much for all that you do in the parenting community. And I know I said it to you before we started rolling, but raising good humans is it was. Such an important resource for me for both of my sons.

So I just, I'm just really grateful for you and all that you've done. And I love that you come from yoga too, because it was like, I'm like that's how I knew I found my people. So thank you for everything. I wish my parents had your book, I love my, I have a wonderful relationship with my family, but I grew up in a pretty explosive household.

I, there's a lot of alcoholism and addiction and a lot of shifting. My dad likes to say like the floor was always moving. Family structure was always changing and. For a little girl nervous system, it was really hard to feel grounded and safe. Hence my subtitle, like being like, this is my life's work, right?

How do I feel grounded? And there was a lot of love. There was that through line of love, but there was a lot of upheaval as well. And so I was introduced to therapy at a really young age. I started going to therapy when I was eight years old. I was actually misdiagnosed as having bipolar disorder, put on a slew of medications.

And, interestingly, as as being a psychologist, as I was the identified patient, that it was really. What was going on in the bigger household. The benefit of what came out of that was, first of all, it planted a seed for me in psychology. That's become a lifelong love affair.

In B is that it, it brought my family into therapy, because everybody was like, Oh, why is she acting out? Let's all focus on her. But then, all the therapists and the psychologists and psychiatrists were like let's start bringing all of you in. And and everybody really started this journey of self inquiry and.

A lot of them, some got sober a little later but it really opened up an opportunity for the family to start to find their footing in a more stable ish way. I'll never say fully stable because, that's just human beings. But yeah, so it was definitely tumultuous, but but I will say that through line of love, thank goodness was, there may not have been a floor underneath me, but there was always a thread of love that connected me and all of us.


[00:05:21] Hunter: that's beautiful. I just want to say I'm not a psychologist, so I just make that clear. But but yeah, I can, that sounds like such a positive outcome, right? Like that you were struggling and there was a lot of struggle around you in that. Your parents took your struggles and that and help them through helping you ended up helping many people in the family.

That's like an incredible outcome for

[00:05:45] Sarah Ezrin: that. And I think, I think something that we're trying to do different generationally and, at least, what I. Glean from your book and what I'm hoping I can encourage people from mine is to look at what our role in it because I think so much was externalized and we, especially in parenting, it was like your kid is acting out because your kid is being bad as opposed to taking a step back and being like, what's my role in this?

What's the bigger picture? And that moment of consciousness, that moment of mindfulness. And yeah, it's it all turned out in the end, but yes, it was it was an interesting beginning.

[00:06:27] Hunter: Yeah. Yeah. That's that's really interesting. So when you got interested in yoga how did you get interested in yoga?

[00:06:34] Sarah Ezrin: I, it was actually a joke. I was 19 and in college. And my dad sent me a VHS, like full on, and it was these two amazing teachers that are still very well known

[00:06:48] Hunter: and respected today. Wait, now was it the Rodney Yee VHS?


[00:06:53] Sarah Ezrin: had the Rodney Yee VHS, the one with the abs, where it was like Rodney Yee's abs, where like he would do which I still can't do, the Tariq part of Ritonasana, where you take your legs to the side.

I still can't do that. It was actually Tracy Rich and Ganga White. And of the white Lotus foundation. And it was just, it was a vinyasa video, but he had sent it to me more Oh, you're getting older. You got to take care of yourself, which is, hilarious now at 41. Yes. Okay. At 19. But I, we just fell in love me and my roommate who also has become a lifelong yoga teacher.

It was a gag gift and we put it in and we were like ready to make fun of it. And before we knew what we were doing, we were moving our coffee to our spinning coffee table, cause it was 2001. Moving our spinning coffee table and our trundle beds and doing all the poses and, the breath.

And we were both just hooked from that first moment on. It was really incredible how, something that was meant to be silly changed the entire trajectory of

[00:07:55] Hunter: my life. That's so interesting. It was there. Did it help you in any way? Did it have any benefits in that sort of first year of VHS

[00:08:03] Sarah Ezrin: yoga?

Yeah, so my family, as I was explaining, things were tumultuous. They got a little bit more leveled out as my mom got sober and my dad got sober and my siblings got sober and all of that. But I then went into the teenage years where I did not, right? I went the other direction where I was exploring.

And when I was in college, it was pretty ungrounded, as is the theme of my life. So by

[00:08:30] Hunter: exploring, is that a euphemism for I was. Partying, like I was drinking and smoking a lot of pot and that kind of thing. Oh, I was

[00:08:39] Sarah Ezrin: doing a

[00:08:39] Hunter: lot more than that. More than that. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:08:41] Sarah Ezrin: Okay. Much more. Yeah. It was, I graduated high school in 1999, so I'm really grateful that we don't have what teenagers are going through right now with everything being laced with fentanyl.

Thank goodness I didn't have to go through that, but. Yeah, it was, it had gone away from drinking and smoking pot and into the hard drugs. And it was definitely, I was on a similar trajectory as to a lot of my, what my siblings had done in their early years to what had been going on with my family before they got sober and the VHS and the practice became my lifeline.

It was the first time I think in my life where I was in my body. I had, I was medicated as a young girl, I was, misdiagnosed and so I was being treated inaccurately when really I, the accurate diagnosis was anxiety. But, it was all these things that were dissociative, in the very, very early years when things were explosive, I would dissociate in other ways, whether it was story or, in my head.

And then as a teenager, I was using drugs, drinking and drugs. And. The yoga practice. And also, I had meditated very briefly at 12. My therapist who got me correctly diagnosed, got me off all the medication. She taught me meditation. So I didn't know what I was doing, but she had started teaching me visualization meditation.

So I'd had a glimpse, but then it was moving my body at 19. We're sure we like lit up a cigarette five seconds after, but in those 15 minutes that we were moving and breathing. I, it was the first time I felt a hole in myself. I'd never felt that before.

[00:10:25] Hunter: I love that. Yeah. I can relate completely like that.

For me, I discovered yoga in, in college, but it was more like I was so flexible that it was like, Oh, I can do these look how high my leg can go. But for me, it was like running. By myself, like down a path by a creek, like this idea of just being in my body, being myself, being with my breath, moving, feeling my blood pumping, all of that, that is such a, you talk about being grounded, that's such a grounding, grounding thing to, to get you out of your Yeah. Get you out of your head, your anxiety.

Stay tuned for more Mindful Mama podcasts right after this break.

[00:11:14] Sarah Ezrin: Something I point out in the book that you make a good point of is like yoga really is about connection and that stilling of the mind. So whether it's running or flying or, rolling around on the ground. or cooking or gardening, these, whatever those paths may be that bring you into yourself, like that becomes the yoga practice.

So you're running in some ways, I don't know if you would consider it, that was your meditation.

[00:11:47] Hunter: Yeah, I definitely, it was like a pre meditation. I think there's like activities that are like, someone said this to, I think, I forget what it was, maybe it might've been Chris Willard, but the idea of pre mindfulness, pre algebra, right?

Pre mindfulness, like it was a pre mindfulness activity in some way. And you write in your book about how your yoga was something that really healed you in a lot of ways, but then you also took some of your own challenges and stuff and kind of channeled it into your yoga, right?

There was like a desire to be, to really take it to an extreme. Do, can you tell us a little bit about that?

[00:12:25] Sarah Ezrin: Yeah, in I overcorrected, if you will, I caught that, that one moment of feeling really good after class and then suddenly the addictive personality kicked in the other direction.

It's worth mentioning too that I, my eating disorder that I, I've had like Lifelong body dysmorphia, but I I was severely anorexic in college. So by the time I graduated I almost actually it was hospitalized, but I ended up being able to do yoga and an outpatient program and those things were healing for me, but I started to use the yoga in the opposite direction.

Unfortunately, what was this healing safe space for me very quickly. Became another thing that I became obsessed with it. I was good at it. So in, I hadn't really been good at anything physical in my life. I was always into dancing, but I, I was never like never ran track. I like literally ditched PE in fifth grade.

Like no lie. I was like, I didn't even know what ditching was. And I was like, I'm not doing this. So it was, I went in the bathroom and then I had this other little girl in there with me and she got in big trouble. I think it was probably like two days that I did it, but I just, I didn't want to go run a track and do it, which is hilarious.

Cause now I like, I'm like happily like doing jumping jacks, but I had never, I was always in my head. I was always, I wanted to tell stories I wanted to write. I was good at it and I think, similar to you, I was pretty hyper mobile and So that kind of, that, that triggered something in me too, where I started to get really competitive.

I chose a style of yoga that was, a very dedicated practice. It can be very rigid. I fell into the Ashtanga yoga system, which is a six day a week practice. Sometimes, it's a two hour practice. And I just, I took it to the extreme for a really long time. And but I like, it it's as I stopped using illicit substances, I started to use my yoga as my drug for a long time.

[00:14:32] Hunter: Yeah. I could see how that would happen. Ashtanga is a really, for the listener who doesn't know. It's like it's a preliminary, it's like kind of one of the first Vinyasa practices, meaning like a vigorous practice is made up by a guy not too long ago. It's not thousands of years old.

It's, more like a hundred and a hundred years old maybe, but anyway, something like that. But yeah, Ashtanga is really fascinating because when I did my yoga teacher training, I have my own story about Ashtanga is that I, and my ego and all that is that. I I was I drove up to my yoga teacher training, which was about a five hour drive away from me.

It was a month long intensive that where we lived there. And I got there and the first class was the Ashtanga primers, which Sarah knows has a lot of forward folds and it's like forward fold after forward fold. And I had Inherited, I've inherited a long back from my father and it had a tendency to hurt sometimes if I wasn't taking care of it.

And after a 5 hour drive, I was really stiff, but I was like, I am fine. Look, I am here in front of these teachers that I will be teaching in front of. I have to show them how flexible I am. I was awful of ego and they did this primary series, like I got out of the car and did a primary series after five hours of driving and I'm basically like pulled some stuff in my lower back, like before a month long intense teacher training on day one day one, like half first, half hour of day one.

And, but it was this great teacher because it really, I taught me a lot. Tell me how to practice while taking care of my back and and it taught me a really big lesson about my ego. But but yeah,

[00:16:25] Sarah Ezrin: so we have a joke in teacher training because, I've had the privilege to lead. A lot of 200s all around the world and 300 hours, too.

And it's in the beginning of the 200, everybody's gung ho, they do everything. They do every pose. And then by the end of the 200 and really into the 300, suddenly everyone's like sitting on the side and just observing. And you're like, how is everybody injured? At the end of the 200 is, for those that don't know, it's like you're like undergrad, for yoga and the 300 would be like starting your masters, and you're like, why is everybody injured? Like, how is this happening? Like globally, right? You can go anywhere. I'm teaching in Beirut. That's the same thing. And I think it's because. We start to tune into ourselves in a different way. We get checked in a different way. It's much easier when you're a part of the world and you're running around and you're just taking a class three times a week to still be in your head, to still be planning your job or your, for the parents like to still be thinking about other people.

But when you're in those scenarios, especially what you did, the intensive. You're with yourself in this intimate way that many people haven't ever been in their life. And suddenly you're feeling things that like almost feel new. And for you, I like, I understand like driving five hours and then doing a bunch of forward bends, like 1000% like that's like easily correlate those two together.

But there's some people that are suddenly like they think they suddenly develop a shoulder thing or suddenly their neck thing. And it just makes you wonder, was that always going on and now you're tuning into it in a different way, or is it. Is it coming up with the new, approach to alignment and now you're listening more kindly.

It's just always really fascinating that like teacher trainings and those kind of deep immersions can bring out that, that level of awareness and and, introspection. It's really

[00:18:11] Hunter: cool. Yeah. It was after that, I finally was able to meditate too. So like it was all, all in all good.

But you. So you dove into yoga, then how did you come to realize like that your yoga was had become in some ways like something that was feeding? Can I say it was like feeding like an ego, like you were like, wanting to do more and more better and better kind of thing.

[00:18:38] Sarah Ezrin: Yeah, full honesty and full disclosure. I wasn't, I think I thought that I was on the path to healing, nevermind the fact that like I was, hadn't had my period in three years and, which is amenorrhea, which is a common side effect of under eating. I, Would binge and purge most weekends which was that was a form of my eating disorder, which was, part of bulimia.

And it was like, but then Monday to Thursday I would be online and, like teaching everybody about self care and preaching in my classes and, making sure people listen to their bodies. So I think there was definitely the disconnect for a while. I'm not sure I was really ready to look at it until I met my husband and I, was forced to live with another person and had this mirror put in front of me.

And when I moved from LA to San Francisco and then moving in with another person, I couldn't obsess in the same way. I just, I didn't have the energetic. Capability, when I was living in LA, I would wake up every day at five and do drive to Hollywood from the West side, which, I just literally going like to two different cities.

But, when I was with him, I wanted to be with him and I enjoyed the mornings and, I liked sleeping in a little bit and I found oh, okay, so I don't fold as deep as, when I stay up a little later with him, but it just started. Things started to get a little looser, and then as I started to get more distance and I had a couple injuries that were pretty significant, that's when the mirror was really held to me about, okay, you really need to adjust something because this is unsustainable if you want to have a relationship and be in the world.

[00:20:23] Hunter: And you write about Stira Sukham, right? Can you tell us about that? Because I think that's really appropriate to what you were

[00:20:31] Sarah Ezrin: just saying. Yeah. One of it's one of many texts, right? It's just one, there's many different lineages of yoga. There's the tantric lineage and Vedanta and and the Yoga Sutras is just one book in the Vedanta philosophy.

But the Yoga Sutras tends to be the book that a lot of American 200 Hours teach. So it's the book a lot of us may know. And it's in that book, Patanjali is who is believed to have what's the word for it? Oh, there's a codified it because there's did it come from the heavens?

Did he actually write it? Was it like Shakespeare? Was there like 10 people, there's all this lore around

[00:21:09] Hunter: it. He's like the Moses of yoga. Yeah.

[00:21:12] Sarah Ezrin: Yeah. It was like revealed. But he, so it's Patanjali's Yoga Sutra and in there he discusses asana, which is the physical practice. And the one and only sutra that, that talks about it says, in Sutra 246, Virasuka asana, which means that asana, which translates to seat is steady and sweet.

So it's this idea that, the physical postures are a balance of strength and the container and then flexibility and spaciousness. Now, we in our Western minds took that and we're like, all right let's go get really strong. Let's like do as much breathing as we can. Like we forget that the following sutras are saying you have this steady container that has a room for space and a breathability so you can then sit for the breathing exercises, which is, pranayama, which then prepares you to sit for meditation or premeditation, as you say, right?

That's the dharana. Then the deeper meditation and then the sitting it's really about creating a container, but the container can be too harsh, right? You can have too much theater. You can have that was like my approach in those early days. Too much yoga, too much, emphasis on what my body was doing.

Too much austerity, not eating enough, making your life very small and very rigid and not having enough sweetness. And you can also have too much sweetness, which is the other side, which is what we were talking about before we started, where it's sure, you'll come over this time this day and then not giving you the time and you're there's like a loosey goosey approach to it.

And it feels almost there's like a leak of energy, and some first that's never been me, but I, I know people that are like that yes, it'll get done. I'm like, I don't know what that is but, there's that side too. And I think we need both.

We need both in our physical bodies and in our practice, but we need both in our lives as well. We need the container and the structure, and then we need the space within that for things to move and to breathe and to grow and to expand. And

[00:23:22] Hunter: I love how you take these ideas of this balance of like strength and containment versus spaciousness and sweetness and apply it to parenting.

In the yoga parenting. So what prompted just what prompted you to write it? What were your first days of parenting? And then what made you then decide you wanted to write the yoga parenting?

[00:23:46] Sarah Ezrin: I'm not, and this is not just hyperbole and I'm not just like. Kissing your bum here.

Your book was incredibly inspiring for me, Hunter. And also Buddhism for young mothers. Those were, those two books were like lifelines for me. And, but both of you were coming from a Buddhist perspective, right? And I was like where's the yoga version? Like I want to hear, and I know you have a yoga background as well, but I wanted to, and all the languaging was so beautiful and that it was all, mindful parenting and mindful meditation.

But I was like, but, I feel like we're missing this from our side a little bit, for the yoga junkies and it's so similar, so much of what we talk about is, very similar and, there's a reason that they're, the Dalai Lama calls them, twin Practices Buddhism and Hinduism.

But, I just was like missing that, that kind of language. I was missing, all the texts that I had read. I was like let's apply it to this, so I went to my teachers and I went to people that I revered and, that, that had done a lot of studying and, that had been living long lives that were very, yoga influenced and.

You'll get informed, but who were also parents and very real. And I was like, tell me everything. What do we do? Where do I go from here? And so it, it all started to come out of that. What did you

[00:25:15] Hunter: struggle with when you were, you're still a young mom. You're still, your kids are three and a half and one.

[00:25:24] Sarah Ezrin: Yeah. I, like I said like my coffee cup is big and my bags are dark.

[00:25:29] Hunter: But I, you have you have a lot of you're gathering, it's almost like you're gathering this wisdom for yourself, right? Like you're just like, you're like, let me translate all of this wisdom I have gathered from yoga, from my life from these, from these texts, from these teachers.

And I want to, it's almost it's like your own parenting guide. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So one of the things you talk about right away is prana. Tell us about for someone who doesn't know what is prana and like, why is this so important for you in your parenting journey right now with a three and a half year old and a one year old?

[00:26:08] Sarah Ezrin: As you asked too, what was the early days like, and I think prana was the thing that was lacking. All of my energy. I didn't have anything that I was doing that was nourishing for myself. So prana, we refer to prana, there's many different names for it. Some people, some schools will call it chi, others, the I'm blanking on the other names right now, but there's many different names for this energy life force, right?

Let's call it like a life force inside of us. And in the yoga tradition, we call that life force prana. It gets correlated a lot with breath, but they're actually two different things. Prana is more just like a conduit to our energy via our breaths. But we're believed to be born with a limited amount of prana.

And our job as human beings in this world is that we're supposed to create that container to find the right amount of container to help, build it, to nourish it, that, when we're, it's the amount of breaths that we're taking, it's lengthening moments, all those things. And as a new mom, I wasn't doing any of that.

It was like, I was not nourished in any way. I was completely overwhelmed. I had no experience with children. I'd never changed a diaper before my first. He was a NICU baby and, we hit the ground running, I had a really, I don't want to, it was just a really intense birth that had a lot of recovery involved in it just like tearing and Everything had to be used really like days long, as is now I could like I like it was like it's intense, but now I like talk to people and it's that's just your first birth, but it it was, it was shocking for me.

It doesn't matter how many first stories I listened to. I was definitely like, Whoa, I, it was really. Oh, overwhelming. We didn't have any help. It was just the two of us. And I was completely depleted. I was not prepared for that kind of lack of sleep. I did not have my yoga practice. I couldn't really move.

I was still like physically recovering because I had a fourth degree tear. And so I, it's like every day I would like barely wake up and, and then I'd be wired awake the rest of the time and just my energy was completely all over the place and completely unbalanced.

That was my first kind of like key in of Oh, I need to start taking care of myself in a different way. And how do you fuel your prana and how do you contain it? How do you protect yourself in certain areas? How do you give more to get more kind of thing? And that's really what inspired that, that whole chapter, which was like tuning into, okay, I'm depleted right now.

What do I need to be nourished? What can I do to slow down and, starting to really read your own energy so that you can start to take care of yourself in a much more intimate way?

[00:29:02] Hunter: Yeah, absolutely. There's no way you can show up for anyone, if you're, if you are that depleted.

It has to be, it has to be, one of the first priorities, maybe the poopy diaper first and then the prana, but so what did you do to to help yourself move away from depletion? How did you nourish yourself? What are some things you do now to nourish yourself and get your prana

[00:29:28] Sarah Ezrin: going?

Prozac. One of the things, I'm not kidding. I I ended up having pretty severe postpartum anxiety because as I mentioned, I have generalized anxiety disorder. That's just my baseline. I hadn't been on medication since my like very early days of eating disorder recovery. So not since I was 21 and I, when I was around 38.

So this was like, eight months after my first son. I was getting frozen in parking lots. I like literally, I couldn't manage things. I couldn't manage my own schedule. I could barely leave the house with him. And he was eight months at that point, where my current son was like eight hours old and I'm like at the market, my second which showed me that there was something significant going on.

Not to mention it was deep in the pandemic, right? So we were completely isolated. We were also moving from the city of San Francisco to a suburb outside of San Francisco. And it just, it came to a head, where I had another breakdown in a Home Depot parking lot and couldn't make my way in the store.

I was so overwhelmed and I had been consistently doing therapy, but I needed to explore. Going back on antidepressants to see if that could help bring me back to more of a baseline anxiety. I think people are like, they have baseline. I'm like, in the middle, it's still, I'm still anxious, but I'm functioning and that ended up being a lifesaver for me.

Literally. I suddenly could breathe. We were out in public. I like I could start to think again. The idea for the book came in projects and creativity. The energy, if we're going back to the prana of it was just so blocked off because it was like tamped down by all of this fear and anxiety and, so many things going on.

It just was like the heavens opened really. And, all these opportunities started opening for me. Not even I'm not talking even job opportunities, just meeting a friend and, like getting to go to this place, having something at a beach and, just things that like, I never could, I couldn't have done.

I couldn't have done, could barely leave the house as I mentioned. And, that was the first step. And then in addition to that, it's my obviously my biweekly therapy. I also attend Al Anon that's been lifesaving for me too. That's for children and friends and families and spouses of alcoholics.

And of course my mat was always there for me to come back to.

[00:32:10] Hunter: Stay tuned for more mindful mama podcasts right after this break.

Okay. Wow. So this was like this, you had this catalyst home depot and it was like a wake up call to to get the help you needed to move things forward and to nourish your mind. I love the, your description of how kind of things open up like that. After that's really lovely.

No, one of the things you talk about in the yoga parenting that I really like is the idea of, of course, yoga is not just about poses. You write about poses and things like that. But you write also about you write about mantras and you had a definition of mantra, which I had never realized before.

Do you remember it? Maybe I can find it. And it was like it was like a truth that we say again and again. Something

[00:33:09] Sarah Ezrin: is, yeah, it's the the roots of the two words. So manas meaning mind and travas, which is to liberate. Yeah, that's the belief and, that's similar to what we were just saying too, right?

The, that you're able to liberate your mind from these, conditions, conditioning or locked in thinking.

[00:33:29] Hunter: Yeah, and we have, built in negativity bias, of course, this is part of human beings is that we, especially when we're in a place where we're vulnerable or we're scared, our mind will look for the threat, right?

Of course, right? It looks for the negativity. And you talk about how like when you caught your mind wandering towards scary things, you would work with some mantras to help you get back to a baseline. Can you tell us a little bit more about that? Yeah.

[00:33:59] Sarah Ezrin: Going back to what we were saying, like obviously I had a bit of an extreme example because of the postpartum anxiety and a little bit of the mild postpartum depression.

So my intrusive thoughts were probably a little You know, more rampant than usual, but there's all this research out there and I quote some of it in the book is that intrusive thoughts are actually just a normal part of the human brain, as you mentioned, it's just. It's probably evolutionary and survival these thoughts where it's it just flashes into your head of the most extreme thing, that could happen.

Often there's violence involved, sometimes they're sexual in nature, they can be very jarring. So as a new mom, that's all you have to say, right? New mom intrusive thoughts. It is, it can be horrifying and it feels it's like all of your worst fears are realized. Like you won't even be near something, but you're like, it could fall, and I won't, I don't, we'll cut out.

I won't even share the ones that I had. Cause I don't want to upset anybody, it can be quite triggering. But what I learned, by talking to my team is just, first of all, how normal they are, that it really is just, the human brain. And like I said, I think it's. I think we're just calibrating the safety.

So it's yes, okay, this, the book's gonna fall, but like that, I think that's just your brain trying to take care of those you love. But for me, the best way that I could anchor myself is rather than going down the rabbit hole of my kid's in danger, my kid's in danger, my kid's in danger would be to anchor into a thought of something that was happening in the now, something that was truly happening in the moment.

Again, like using this example of like the book falling, right? If he's sitting next to me and the book is not falling. In my head I say, he's safe, my child is safe, my child is safe, my child is safe. And it may feel like, you're push pulling and lassoing your mind the whole day, but it becomes this mantra, where you're literally changing your thought.

And bringing it into what's actually occurring in the moment because in this moment, there's a million possibilities, right? But in this moment, they are safe. We are taken care

[00:36:14] Hunter: of. And just to anchor into that, I love the, I love a mantra of like safety, right? Because that really is it's like our, nervous system is like, Oh, there's a threat.

There's a threat. And you're not like, okay, I'm safe. We are safe right now. He is safe. I'm safe. Like just reminding ourselves of these things. Sometimes you have to like coax our, unconscious part of our brain into remembering these things. Yeah. Yeah. Thank you.

I really liked that mantra. And you also talk about changing your mind and the idea of You tell the story of Jane Austen, who repeated the mantra, I am strong, I am powerful, I am beautiful. Can you tell us a little bit more about that one?

[00:37:00] Sarah Ezrin: First of all, it's give a huge shout out to Jane Austen.

And if you're in the Bay Area and you're pregnant, then you probably know of her. She is, I call her the queen of the prenatal prenatal and postnatal community up here in the Bay Area. She calls herself the fairy godmother which I appreciate. She's a phenomenal teacher. So she was talking about being extremely pregnant.

She was in in midwifery at the time, and she went to a yoga class, and she was doing warrior two, and she'd been feeling very uncomfortable, and her prana had been depleted from the many long midwifing? Midwifing? Midwifing?

And and, midwifery and, nevermind how far along she was in her pregnancy, but she was in warrior two position and she had this aha moment of like kindness and empowerment. And it was just like, it was like the best she felt in a very long time. And it was through the breath and through the shape of her body.

And it came to her in words. It came to her as this almost like voice. Saying, I am beautiful. I am strong. And she repeated it back to herself. And later, Propel now, I think that was like 20 years ago. Her kids are now in college. She now teaches prenatal postnatal yoga and she empowers other parents that are, sometimes it's the partner.

Sometimes it's the birthing, the birthing, the carrying parent, but she empowers them with similar mantras for them to practice. So that, whether it's like in the asana class leading up to the actual birth or, of course, in the birth itself, if they're giving birth or just those early childhood years, there's many ways to have a child.

But she, because of that moment, that was such a clarifying moment for her. That became one of her tools that she uses for all of her students nowadays.


[00:38:58] Hunter: love these tools and I love those mantras, are there any other tools like yoga tools that you are using in your family and then maybe your, your family is

[00:39:09] Sarah Ezrin: using as well?

Another mantra that I think like my husband and I are like saying to each other constantly is it is, it's all temporary, it's all temporary which that can facilitate. Different lines of thinking, right? It's all temporary can be a bit of a bomb in those moments, B A L M and those moments that are, you're feeling overwhelmed and, like you can't get through it.

It can also be a really lovely reminder that. We want to be grounded and we want to be present in this moment. Watching our boys, they were taking a bath yesterday and playing really well together. Like it's all temporary in that moment is just for us to he's because one of us, not to mention names, but someone may be watching a basketball game.

So if I say it's all temporary, with my hand on his back then it's an opportunity for the phones to go away and for us to be present. And if someone is, both kids are screaming and needing mama at the same time, and I'm feeling split in two, he can put his hand on my back and say, it's all temporary.

And I can get grounded and, remember okay, this is just a phase right now. And I got to figure out who, who to go to first. That's always hard as your kids are very close in age. But yeah, it's all temporary has been a great tool for us. Very helpful for a lot of reasons. Yeah.

[00:40:36] Hunter: Yeah.

Just as like that reminder of constant change. So you're just like, okay, this is all changing. It's all going away. It really refocuses you back on this moment. And if you, then it's if it's all changing in a heartbeat, like I can be in this moment, I think that's, I think that's a really helpful mantra.

I love that. Yeah, that's great. There's so much I love so much in your book, 34 Practices to Find More Presence and More Peace. Thank you so much, Sarah. That's what I want to know. I'm like, who am I going to mention? Apparently

[00:41:15] Sarah Ezrin: somebody went through because it's, it's like it's 10 chapters.

We broke it into 10 things. And I'm like, really? There's 34. So I guess, there's like bonus ones, but yeah I appreciate it. It's all the tools. I, it's just I'm going to just put everything I learn in there and everything anyone's ever offered me at any point in my lifetime. Let's put it in the book.

[00:41:34] Hunter: Thank you so much for coming on the mindful mama podcast for taking your taking that energy taking that revival energy and channeling it into this work. What are you excited about right now? What are you working on? And also, where

[00:41:50] Sarah Ezrin: can people find you? Thank you. And thank you so much for having me.

And truly, I really don't think this book, it's not even a joke. And, I quote you throughout it. The book wouldn't exist were it not for raising good humans. So I so appreciate everything you do for all of us mindful parents everywhere. I am at a, I'm mostly active on Instagram.

I am a little bit on TikTok but Sarah Ezrin yoga, and that's also my website, Sarah Ezrin yoga. And yeah, right now I'm just working on the launch. It's coming up in two weeks. It's my first. Book, so it feels like a third baby and all my attention and energy is going into that. I am teaching still, cause I, I love yoga, so I still do some online classes, but really it's just all going into that and and then when that wave passes as energy does, I'm hoping for a book number two, but I also want to savor the quiet on the other side as well.

[00:42:49] Hunter: Yeah, it is like having a baby. I feel just like a baby. You're now on the third baby, Sarah. Thank you so much. I really enjoyed talking to you today. Thank

[00:42:59] Sarah Ezrin: you so much, Hunter. Thank you.

[00:43:09] Hunter: Thank you so much for listening to this episode. I really appreciate it. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you getting something out of it. And thank you so much for leaving. Ratings and reviews. It makes such a big difference to the mindful mama podcast. I want to give a shout out to TBA and SC who left a five star review saying wonderful, such a great time out for moms to feel understood and heard very important information and resources shared for moms who want to be their best self.

Thank you so much. I really appreciate that rating and review. Please do leave a rating. A review makes such a big difference. And and we appreciate it. Everyone who works here hard for the Mindful Mama podcast for you here. And I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you got a lot out of it. I hope you're going to have a beautiful week.

I hope there's some yoga and opening and breath and. Life force energy and all that goodness. I hope that's all in your week with you and your kids, and I hope that you get to pull out of the challenging moments quick and lean into all the good moments as best you can. I will be practicing that too, of course, with you.

I'm looking forward to connecting with you again next week. We have so many wonderful guests coming, so make sure you're subscribed and I will be here for you and with you, my friend. I appreciate you listening and being there. For me, for this movement. So wishing you a great week. Take care. Namaste.

I'd say

[00:44:52] Sarah Ezrin: definitely do it. It's really helpful. It will change your relationship

[00:44:56] Hunter: with your kids for the better. It will help

[00:44:58] Sarah Ezrin: you communicate better. And just, I'd say communicate better as a person, as a wife, as a spouse. It's been really a positive influence in our lives. So definitely do it. I'd say definitely do it.

It's so worth it. The money really is inconsequential when you get. So much benefit from being a better parent to your children and feeling like you're connecting more with them and not feeling like you're yelling all the time or you're like, why isn't things working? I would say definitely do it. It's so worth it.

It'll change you. No matter what age someone's child is, it's a great opportunity for personal growth and it's great investment in someone's family. I'm very thankful I had this. You can continue in your old habits that aren't working. Or you can learn some new tools and gain some perspective to shift everything in your parenting.

[00:45:56] Hunter: Are you frustrated by parenting? Do you listen to the experts and try all the tips and strategies, but you're just not seeing the results that you want? Or are you lost as to where to start? Does it all seem so overwhelming with too much to learn? Are you yearning for community people who get it, who also don't want to threaten and punish to create cooperation?

Hi, I'm Hunter Clark Fields, and if you answered yes to any of these questions, I want you to seriously consider the Mindful Parenting Membership. You'll be jo Joining hundreds of members who have discovered the path of mindful parenting and now have confidence and clarity in their parenting. This isn't just another parenting class.

This is an opportunity to really discover your unique lasting relationship, not only with your children, but with yourself, it will translate into lasting connected relationships, not only with your children, but your partner to let me change your life, go to mindful parenting. Thank you. Course dot com to add your name to the wait list so you will be the first to be notified when I open the membership for enrollment.

I look forward to seeing you on the inside. 

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