I feel like I should start with the disclaimer that I love my children. They make me laugh and smile like no other human beings on this earth. I am so proud of the beautiful, strong, kind people they are. But I’m honest about the fact that being a mom is freaking crazy. Aside from a supportive husband and a close group of honest moms who can also complain about their kids yet still love them madly, Yoga is my outlet. It dials down the crazy woman inside who feels like her head is going to explode. So for those moms who don’t think they have the time for a Yoga class, here are 5 reasons why you should make it:

  1. It’s the only hour in your life where directions will be followed.

How often are you in a room full of people where everyone is doing what they are supposed to? It’s hard to imagine when you just tried to convince your child that they had to wear pants…outside…in January. But there’s actually a magical place where people are following directions in near-perfect synchronization. Welcome to Yoga, moms! It’s a place where the furthest deviation will be if someone adds a handstand into their Vinyasa flow. It’s a place where people actually THANK the leader for making them follow those directions. Are you already ordering some yoga pants from Amazon? It gets even better…

  1. You don’t have to do anything in a yoga class BUT follow those directions.

A mom’s brain is undoubtedly working at 100 miles per hour. Here is a sample of the things I am thinking in the first few minutes of waking up in the morning:

  • I did not get enough sleep last night.
  • I need to shower and make lunches before anyone wakes up otherwise everything will take twice as long.
  • Did I feed the cat last night?
  • Do I need to pull anything out of the freezer for dinner?
  • Is today some sort of theme day where I need to send them to school in a specific color?
  • The cat looks hungrier than usual…I probably didn’t feed him.
  • Crap—is someone waking up early?
  • Do I have any early meetings requiring me to be less late than usual to work?
  • What are the kids wearing? What am I wearing? Do I really NEED to shower??
  • I CANT FORGET to stop for milk, bananas and that yogurt that has Elsa and Anna on the front of it.
  • I think Target is the only one that has that Elsa and Anna yogurt, so I have to make time to stop there.
  • I probably shouldn’t stop at Target because then I will spend $100 on random crap.
  • Avoiding the meltdown from not having the Elsa and Anna yogurt is worth the $100.
  • I fed the cat, right?

Moms are always thinking about the next thing they need to do. During my Yoga practice, I don’t even wonder which pose is coming next. Is the teacher taking me from Warrior 2 to Goddess? Or Prasarita? Or Trikonasana? I could care less. Surprise me! Most of the surprises I have at home are the ones where someone spills an entire bowl of cereal on their clean outfit, so I happily welcome a surprising, creative yoga sequence.

  1. You can be perfectly imperfect.

The “Mommy Wars” can be brutal. Whether you personally partake or not, you can always feel the judgmental eye of the fellow mom. Stay at home vs. Working, Breast vs. Bottle, Organic vs Conventional, it’s always there. Even without the judgment of those other moms, there is this horrible notion that you need to be perfect as a woman—being a strong, working woman while still having freshly baked cookies and a balanced meal on the table at night and children with perfectly brushed hair.

Guess what? Although you might think otherwise, no one is judging you in a yoga class. No one cares if you can get into Crow, if you need to use a block, if you take the more advanced modification or not. They are all there for the same reason you are—to just BE. So be yourself in your practice—BE IMPERFECT! You’re busy enough trying to be perfect in every other aspect of your life.

  1. Your time on the mat is YOURS.

Let’s be real here…if you have young children, when was the last time you used the bathroom without an audience? In your waking hours, how much time is solely, unequivocally YOURS?

Yoga gives you an hour—a full SIXTY MINUTES (or more!)—to yourself! You don’t have to break up any fights, try to figure out who wiped the boogers on your pants, or convince someone that, no, a green lollipop is NOT a vegetable. It is sixty blissful minutes where you can just be you, that woman somewhere deep inside who wasn’t always a booger detective.

AND, if you make sure to use the studio’s bathroom on the way out, you can guarantee yourself a solo pee as well!

  1. Relaxation is required.

If you have never been to a Yoga class, I’m going to let you in on a secret. During your hour of alone time, someone is also going to ENCOURAGE you to relax. Yes YOU, the woman who feels guilty sitting down at night because there’s something more she can be doing. Your Yoga teacher will even guide you into relaxation, just in case you can’t shut that tired, overworked brain down. You will come to make the most of that 3-5 minute Savasana, savoring every quiet, relaxing moment.

Again, don’t get me wrong, being a mom is just about the most awesome thing in the world, but if you can’t laugh through the craziness of it, then it’s just no fun. My yoga practice gives me a clearer mind to be a better mom, a better wife, a better woman. I can appreciate all of the moments of motherhood through a greater awareness of my own self, and understanding that, like my yoga practice, I don’t have to be perfect. So throw away the guilt and give yourself that time ladies, you will all be better because of it.

…I just wouldn’t mind getting to use the bathroom alone every now and then.