A Day in the Life of Katherine Willert, a Yoga Teacher with an 18-Month Old

Introducing our latest monthly blog post! Each month, we’ll feature one of our fabulous mang’Oh teachers, giving a peak into their lives and what it’s like to be a yoga teacher in New York City.

5:30 – Eben wakes up.

5:45 – Drat, looks like he is really awake. I’m up. It’s better, according to Ayurveda (ancient Indian science of life), to wake up before 6, anyway. We’re still in the Vata time of day, and I’m feeling pretty good. I give him the last of the milk and we read a couple of stories.

6:00 – I make coffee. There’s no milk, so I use vanilla fudge twirl ice cream. Before I became pregnant, I ate no meat or fish, and limited dairy. Now I consume a lot of dairy, and fish or chicken almost every day. There are very good arguments for remaining vegetarian while pregnant or nursing, but I felt from the beginning that my body needed it. When he stops nursing, I will probably be vegetarian again.

6:02 – I quickly shove the ice cream in the freezer when I hear Eben approaching. He has a sharp sense for snacks and my concealing behavior.

6:16 – I decide to do laundry – the laundry room opens at 6, so no hassles when I get rolling this early. We accidentally wake up Adam.

7:10 – We go downstairs to put the laundry in the dryer. I make Eben some egg yolks and straighten up. He won’t eat the eggs.

7:45 – We read some more stories, including Dinosaur Zoom and Snowmen at Night, two current favorites. He says “box” for the first time. He is saying new words every day, every hour! It’s thrilling. I make Eben yogurt, granola and cinnamon – he seems to like it. Adam comes back from the gym.

8:10 – I get the laundry while Eben finishes his yogurt, fold while watching news. Eben used to fling the laundry around as soon as I folded it, but he’s a little more polite these days.

8:45 – I take this opportunity to run out to the store: milk, batteries, face wash. I usually go to the store with the baby, but he’s kind of driving me crazy today. Ahhh, quiet.

9:15 – Last minute decision to go to a 10am yoga class at Equinox – I just joined with my mom. The plan is to leave Eben at the Kid’s Club, which he didn’t like much the first time, but I’ll give it a shot. Adam and I wrestle Eben into his snowsuit and get the stroller ready: the baby and I are out the door in five minutes. My asana practice has made me capable of super-efficient activity. Adam was born that way, so he doesn’t need yoga.

9:23 – On the 145th street train platform, I realize I forgot my phone. I need it because the Equinox babysitter needs to be in touch during class. (Which means I am one of those annoying people who keeps a phone by her yoga mat.) No way I can make it to the class. I am so irritated by my own stupidity. I recalibrate my day’s activities, and decide the the extra trips up and down subway stairs carrying a massively heavy stroller constitute my upper-body work for the day. We go home.

10:00 – Adam leaves for work.

10:15 – Eben falls asleep. I shower and straighten up. Is this the second or third time I’ve mentioned straightening up? Life with a toddler means a continuing commitment to the practice of Sauca, purity. We are ever-vigilant, and manage to keep the place tidy.

11:55 – He’s still asleep. I spend the time reading the paper and typing up this “Day in the Life” profile rather than practicing. Eben’s morning nap was my yoga time for a long time, over a year; I would throw my mat down as soon as he fell asleep in kind of a panic not to waste time. By the time he was about 4 months old, I was practicing the Ashtanga second series again. Now I am more relaxed in my physical practice. If I am wiped out, I’ll take a nap with him (peaceful and luxurious beyond description) and skip practice. If I skip too often, I become tight and irritable, If I practice too much, all my energy seems to go towards asana, and I don’t even want to make dinner. These days, I go to a couple of classes per week (I love Brahman Yoga at 145th street between Broadway and Amsterdam), and practice at home about 3 times, for at least a little while. Stillness is most important now, because I’m scurrying around most of the day, “multi-tasking,” which is against my natural register.

2:30 – Eben’s gym class. Usually hilarious. Eben wanders around like he’s on LSD, ignoring the teacher. He only likes one of the teachers, who wasn’t on duty today.

4:15 – Adam meets us at the baby gym and takes Eben home; I take a class at Equinox – kind of interesting.

5:30 – Teach a private student.

7:30 – I get home. Adam makes a delicious pasta dish with garlic, anchovies, tuna and peas.

8:30 – Eben finally conks out. Adam and I relish the quiet, have some adult time, and then watch an episode of The Sopranos.