When we asked Taryn Toomey to describe herself she said, “Strong-willed, yet tender hearted, with an expressive mind who leans toward compassion, love and humor.” It was that self-awareness that made us immediately know Taryn was our kind of woman.
Not that we were surprised. Taryn is best known for her creation of The Class, which is described on its website as a ‘transformative workout for the body and mind.’ She invites all attendees to fully surrender through movement, sound and meditation – you’ll walk away drenched in sweat and empowered.
Outside of her business, she is a mom of two girls, Scarlett and Finley. We recently sat down with Taryn to discuss how to stay centered in this hectic world, while continually returning to a place of grace and awareness.
In The Beginning
When Taryn found out she was pregnant with her first daughter she was living in Boston while teaching yoga.
“I was worried about the things all new mothers worry about, both financially and emotionally, when thinking about raising a child. I think this worry is healthy. There are parts of the pregnancy process that are so beautiful and transformative. Worry gives you time to move into a new stage of motherhood.”
Taryn viewed the nine months of pregnancy as a gift to adjust to the upcoming change of welcoming home her little one.
“You don’t become pregnant and then the baby arrives the next day—it’s beautiful how the body gives you time to acknowledge that change is coming. This way you can slowly integrate.”
“Something I was not aware of is the level of fulfillment that a mother experiences, which allowed me to move through the hard times with more grace and ease than I expected. After having a baby, life has a different sense of purpose. It creates space to feel compassion toward yourself and others.”
Lessons of Motherhood
The arrival of baby brings a lot of changes, some of which you can prepare for, but also others that are completely unexpected.
After giving birth, Taryn was overwhelmed by so many different emotions: elation, immense love, and a little bit of fear.
“If I am honest, I think all new moms experience some depression, but we are made to believe that it is a ‘bad’ word, something is ‘wrong’ with us or it is something to fear. If you name it, acknowledge it, and track it day by day, you can notice if it changes. This makes it more tolerable to stay steady and present to what arises. I think I was experiencing some postpartum depression with the birth of both of my children, more so with my second. In my experience, there is a processing period that takes place and I think part of that means grieving your old life in order to move into your new normal. It all passes, both the good and bad.”
So, how did Taryn move through this period of emotional ups and downs? Taryn insists that talking about the emotions—and the experiences of motherhood—are truly a way to confront the inner battle you may be experiencing.
“It truly always comes back to one breath, one beat, one day at a time. When the fear gets involved notice it, talk to it, talk about it, and process it with people who have been there before. I don’t think we share our birth stories enough.”
Reaching Out To Those You Love
Taryn feels that by suffering in silence, we start convincing ourselves that something is wrong with us for feeling this way and we isolate ourselves in these emotions. We totally agree – it can be difficult to speak up, but it is so worth it for your emotional well being.
“Having a safe space or a human to share it with actually makes you realize that you are not abnormal at all. I believe most mothers encounter similar thoughts and feelings. It’s just that we don’t talk about them, or share them, so we don’t know that it is simply part of the process. A healthy process. If we share our stories, we encourage one another to do so as well and in this space we can heal together.”
Of course, Taryn acknowledges how hard it can be to tune out the noise of unsolicited advice that mothers are immediately bombarded with. And for this, she comes back to one of the core values she instills in The Class and in her personal life: community.
“Create a sacred circle around you of trusted humans you know who you can turn to when you need advice or a shoulder. Know who to go to for a listening ear and learn how to tune out what doesn’t feel like it resonates in your heart.”
When asked for final words of wisdom, Taryn gave us this sweet advice, which is just so truthful in its simplicity. “Enjoy it! Take the small things in. Smell their skin, kiss their toes, and when the going gets rough, make it super simple. Shut out the noise, get down on their level, give them love and you will receive it back.”
So, when you are in the weeds of parenting with no end in sight, come back to that last bit of advice. We know we will.