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How Yoga, Meditation and Holistic Living Has Benefited My Family

Being a parent is both difficult and rewarding. Balancing physical and mental health for all the members of my family can be an exhausting task. I am by no means an expert in any field. I am simply a mother of three children between the ages 5 and 13, and for the last 10 years I’ve been the wife of a former Marine with PTSD.
We haven’t always been holistic. We haven’t always practiced yoga and meditation regularly. We haven’t always been health conscious. In fact, I’ll admit that at times I made poor health choices for both myself and my children. There was a time when I guzzled gallons of soda and went on sugar binges I’m rather ashamed of. I was a pack a day cigarette smoker for over 20 years and I allowed my depression to rule my life. I was easily frustrated and short tempered. There were days the kids ate fast food and cookies for breakfast, lunch and/or dinner, depending on how I felt. We’ve all had those moments of weakness in some form or another, and in today’s fast-paced life, it’s easy to slip into that rut of unhealthy living.
We eventually got tired of being sick and tired, both physically and emotionally. We no longer wanted our children to be victims of our bad decisions. It seemed more often than not, nobody was happy or healthy in our house.

Do you have those moments where a light comes on and you suddenly realize you desperately need a change?

That light came on for us just when we needed it to, just when my depression had taken a turn for the worse, my kid’s health was questionable, and our house was in constant psycho-tantrum chaos. We decided as a family we didn’t want to live like that anymore and that we needed to make some big changes.
I started by getting a handle on my depression. My depression affected everybody. I didn’t want to take medications that would cause more side effects or make me dependent on another chemical. So I researched my heart out for holistic approaches to treating clinical depression and found yoga and meditation. I had practiced a smidge of yoga before but never with an open heart. After a year of daily practice, I was able to quit smoking using only holistic approaches like meditation, essential oils, homeopathies, and yoga. With my yoga practice deepening and becoming more of a lifestyle, my kids and husband started to become interested in yoga also.
We decided to start a family yoga practice. For the last two years, every morning before we start our day, we practice 15-30 minutes of yoga and meditation. We have found that everybody is happier from it.

The kids are better able to focus, we have less tantrums and more willingness to communicate.

We have all become closer because of our yoga practice. Our practices together are sometimes full of laughter and fun, while other days we are quiet and more reserved. We help each other and progress together. The flow guides us, and we are enjoying the journey.
The transformation didn’t end there. We continue to evolve as a family. We recently decided to take more control of our health and remove dairy, meats and oils from our diets. We became plant based, whole food vegans four months ago. It has been, at times, a difficult transition for my 5 year old. Meals with him have been trial and error but that is pretty typical for his age. What 5 year old doesn’t want to eat macaroni and cheese every day?
Other than that speed bump, we love the change. We all have more energy, healthier skin and hair and feel better all around. The kids enjoy helping in the kitchen and learning how to make recipes from scratch rather than from a box. We talk about our food, where it comes from and how it is grown or made. We have fun trying new foods and ways of cooking. It’s a learning process for all of us.

We’ve learned to eat to live, not live to eat, and to respect our bodies and nourish them.

Now, I understand that these changes are not easy to make. I don’t want to imply that we have it easy. In fact, at this very moment, my kids are screaming bloody war cries at each other and I am sitting here, desperately trying to keep my cool and write this article while my husband is hiding in the garage. However, this is a moment that is rarer these days.

Starting and continuing a daily yoga practice with three children is difficult at first, but with positivity and consistency it becomes a solid, rewarding habit in no time. Changing our diet so drastically was not easy either. Countless recipes have been tried and we have had to think of creative ways to enjoy junk food without going overboard. For example, Halloween. We let the kids pick five pieces from their loot and bought the remaining candy from them for $5. They were happy and so were we. We’ve done our best to make the changes fun and adventurous, which in turn makes it less difficult.
I feel that the biggest factor in making the changes a little simpler is that these were family decisions made collectively and not forced on anyone. We decided together to get happy and healthy. We researched and gained the knowledge together that enabled us to grow. We continue to grow together and individually, supporting each other every step of the way. Could you imagine that making the changes we did would bring with it so many benefits? I truly had no idea and I could not be more grateful. You are capable of making the same changes in your own life – all you need is the motivation, inspiration, and support system to do so.
Questions or comments about what I’ve discussed here? I’d love to hear from you and keep the conversation going in the comments below!

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Lacey Davis

Lacey Davis is a meditating, holistic living, homeschooling, stay at home vegan yogi mamma of 3 crazy fun kiddos in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Her holistic lifestyle came about recently due to an extreme need to naturally treat her clinical depression. Finding peace and grace in this lifestyle, she’s constantly searching for love and light to share and spread.

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