Spilt Milk Yoga: If you’re a parent, this book is for you

Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

By Hannah Schenker

Spilt Milk Yoga: A guided self-inquiry to finding your own wisdom, joy, and purpose through motherhood, by Cathryn Monro, was launched back in August and is making waves throughout New Zealand. It is a companion to the inner journey of motherhood. Approaching motherhood as a path to greater self-knowledge, Wellington author and artist Cathryn Monro combines personal experience, honesty and humour to ask:

  • Will motherhood ruin my life?
  • What happened to my body, and my career?
  • Am I doing it right?
  • Whose anger is this?
  • Is an ordinary life good enough?
  • How do I achieve anything?

Cathryn Monro has practised meditation and yoga for the last 26 years, but is quick to point out her book is not about how to do physical yoga poses. Rather, Spilt Milk Yoga approaches motherhood as a path for engagement with our most profound relationships, offering life’s richest and most confronting lessons on love, acceptance and joy.

“Motherhood is like the most intense retreat you could ever go on, all the exits are blocked, you meet your habits, your best and your worst behaviours, and no matter what you have to show up every day and be Mum, even when you don’t feel up to it,” says Cathryn.

“And it’s especially when you don’t feel up to it that we have the opportunity to find a new way forward, because what better place to practice love, compassion, tolerance, and understanding than with our relationships with ourselves, and our children?”

Spilt Milk Yoga is designed to be mother-friendly. Its 52 short chapters are written in an easy-read font for sleep-deprived eyes. Each chapter has a quick-grab aphorism. The author shares her honest and often humorous personal mothering experiences, and provides a practice applicable to each situation. There is also a page of guided self-inquiry in each chapter, ensuring that Spilt Milk Yoga is relevant to every reader’s situation.

Spilt Milk Yoga is a companion guide for mothers who want to experience the happiness, peace, and purpose available in each moment, who want to be more present and connected to themselves and their children. Spilt Milk Yoga is about thriving, not just surviving, in motherhood, and finding your own wisdom, joy and purpose while you are in amongst it all, not in spite of motherhood, but because of it.

“Spilt Milk Yoga is the book I wish I’d had when I became a mother” says Cathryn.

Here is a little of the book launch at Unity Books in Wellington:

Kara-Leah Grant from The Yoga Lunchbox, has also shared a wonderful interview with Cathryn, below. Head to the site for the full review. 

There is also a short and sweet interview on Radio Live HERE.

We can’t wait to read it!

Cathryn Monro is a pro­fes­sional artist, writer, edu­ca­tor, facil­i­ta­tor and mother of two. She rates moth­er­ing as by far the most chal­leng­ing, cre­ative, impor­tant and ful­fill­ing of jobs. Cathryn’s life, train­ing and work com­bine her cre­ative drive, a com­mit­ment to mean­ing­ful edu­ca­tion, self-inquiry and group learn­ing processes, and yoga and med­i­ta­tion prac­tices.

Cathryn holds a BFA and MFA from the Elam School of Fine Arts, Uni­ver­sity of Auck­land, and has a 30+yr career as a pro­fes­sional artist. Her work includes large scale pub­lic and pri­vate com­mis­sions rang­ing from bronze and weath­er­ing steel works to instal­la­tions involv­ing 200,000 strung beads, to gallery exhib­ited sculp­ture and works in paint, pho­tog­ra­phy, light and draw­ing.

Fol­low­ing her inter­est in col­lab­o­ra­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion processes, Cathryn spent a year train­ing as an actor in Syd­ney, Aus­tralia. It was there, in 1990, that she began her yoga prac­tice.

On return to New Zealand and alongside her stu­dio prac­tice, Cathryn began a 20+yr teach­ing career in NZ’s pre­miere ter­tiary arts insti­tu­tions. Her inter­est in edu­ca­tion and inquiry-learning prompted 6 years train­ing as a facil­i­ta­tor of active and inter­ac­tive group process. This lead to work in a vari­ety of set­tings includ­ing work­shop facil­i­ta­tor for par­ents for 2 years with the Anger Change Trust, Play­back for Teenagers for youth the­atre, and 11 years as scriptwriter for the char­ity Books In Homes, pro­mot­ing a love of read­ing and book own­er­ship to thou­sands of dis­ad­van­taged school­child­ren through­out New Zealand.

In the year 2000 Cathryn gave birth to her first daugh­ter and in 2003 to her sec­ond. Cathryn jug­gled her career and life as a work-at-home mum alongside her stu­dio prac­tice, writ­ing, and facil­i­ta­tion and spent 6 years in hands-on early child­hood edu­ca­tion with the parent-led Play­cen­tre organ­i­sa­tion.

Over the last 10 years Cathryn has worked with ter­tiary stu­dents and pro­fes­sion­als lead­ing inte­gra­tive, group-learning, practice-based inquiry processes, draw­ing on the expe­ri­ences of group mem­bers to deepen learn­ing, build col­lab­o­ra­tive rela­tion­ships and enrich work­ing cul­tures.

Cathryn lives with her hus­band and daugh­ters in Welling­ton, New Zealand.

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