In the final of our series of Mom Tributes from PowerYogaCanada Muskoka owner and operator, Jenn Dwyer shares how her Mom inspired her journey to yoga and personal happiness. Happy Mother’s Day to all of the Moms and Daughters who have shared their stories with us and to you dear Readers…enjoy your day!
“It’s Mother’s Day and I’d like to give all of our Muskoka Mama’s a special shout out for all that you do for your children. I have to recognize one special Mom in particular: my own. If you’ve been to the boathouse, you’ve seen her practicing in my classes, helping with sign in and probably even sweeping the floor after class. She’s always lending a helping hand and I’d be lost without her. If it hadn’t been for her pushing me to try yoga, none of this Muskoka magic would even exist.
In my third year of University, I went through a particularly tough time with depression and anxiety. I remember sitting in my therapists office as she told me that I should go to yoga. I sat there and nodded my head in agreement even though I’d already made up my mind that it was a silly idea and I wasn’t going to give it a go. When I got home that day I made one very clear mistake.
I told my Mom.
That’s how my yoga journey began, with my poor Mom dragging an uninterested daughter to classes. She was new to yoga but took it up for my benefit which is typical of her. She always puts others needs before her own. I often say that I practice everyday to get to the level that my Mom is at naturally. So many of the lessons yoga has taught me, I learned through my Mom first. Here are the biggest ones I’ve learned from watching how she lives her life and how she treats people.
Let others be
I can remember so clearly sitting in the back of my Mom’s minivan with my sisters, saying something (maybe a bit mean – as kids can be) about someone at school and my Mom piping up in the front seat with “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. She repeated this saying to us regularly whenever she heard us saying something negative.
But beyond just telling us, she led by example. I’ve never heard my Mom say something bad about someone else. She takes non-judgement to an expert level.
Shift your perspective
I can’t even tell you how many different versions and copies of ‘Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” my Mom gave me throughout my teen years. Whether it was sharing other peoples words or just talking me through things in my own life, my Mom has taught me that life is all about what you choose to focus on. My yoga practice reinforces this daily and it’s changed my entire experience of life.
My Mom has always been one of those people who appreciates what she has and isn’t caught up in what she thinks she needs. This has made gift giving a big challenge. Take the year she asked for ‘baking sheets’ for Christmas. That’s it, all she wanted was baking sheets and she was genuinely happy when she got them. She’s reminded me over and over again that it’s not about needing more, it’s about appreciating what you have already.
If you’ve ever come to PYC Muskoka or practiced in the boathouse, you have my Mom to thank. Without her support, her encouragement and her belief that yoga would help me, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I’ll continue to practice yoga everyday in hopes that it will make me even one tiny bit as kind and special as the woman I’m lucky enough to call my Mom.”
Jenn Dwyer is the owner/operator of PowerYogaCanada Muskoka. Located in the Boathouse at SWS Marina on Juddhaven Road, PYCMuskoka opens its doors on June 3rd.