Sri Lankan supermum Miuru Jayaweera on yoga, raising boys and more!
She takes the art of juggling in motherhood to a new level!
We love featuring outstanding Sri Lankan mums because we feel all of us have much to learn from them.
This month, we are thrilled to feature mummy of two, Miuru Jayaweera. This exceptionally talented lady wears many hats as you'll soon learn, and her fitness journey will without a doubt, serve as an inspiration to all of you reading this.
A mum of many talents
This 37-year-old mummy has two sons, aged 7 and 9. Her career over the last 17 years has spanned many areas, including the media (she looks familiar, doesn't she?) and other local and international organisations, both in Sri Lanka and overseas.
She now has her mumpreneur hat on and is busy building her own business in Digital Corporate Communications under the brand name Colombo Creative. Not satisfied with just this, Miuru is also reading for a PhD, as she tells us, to "focus her errant brain"!
But wait, there's even more to this sassy mum.
She believes strongly in staying fit and healthy in both mind and body. Miuru achieves this by dedicating time during the week to doing strength training in the gym and practicing yoga (she shares easy yoga asanas for mums later in this article) often.
She keeps her mind healthy by learning the abhidhamma by listening to tripitaka dhamma deshana.
A balanced family life
Miuru explains that she does not believe in maids. So how do she manage to keep her home in order? By encouraging her family to do their part.
She tells us, "I do not believe in maids and with the help of my husband and kids who are accustomed to routine chores, we keep a considerably organised house. My kids are channelled in to many extracurricular activities apart from core school work during the five weekdays and we spend as much time as possible with them during weekends watching movies, reading books or being outdoors."
How does she strike a balance in life? "I try to keep a balance between being a mother, wife, a daughter to my parents and also and most importantly being just me. I love me time. I make sure I watch a movie alone or have a coffee with a friend as often as I can to keep myself happy," says Miuru.
Miuru feels very strongly about women arming themselves with updated knowledge and skills, which is why she continues on a seemingly neverending quest to acquire both.
This mummy is not scared to take on new professional challenges that push her to learn new skills.
She gives us this example, "During my time at Lanka Hospitals as manager PR and Social Media I often carried a Canon 6D photographing every notable event and video recording live surgeries inside the Operating Theatre, to come back to my desk to edit them and to disseminate them to all media channels. Looking back now I’m thankful for my superiors who trusted me enough to let me learn while working, which enriched my career."
The importance of a solid support system
Miuru could not do everything she does without having a strong support system.
"My parents and my husband have established an immense and unparalleled support system throughout my and my sons’ development. I can never thank them enough for their love and readiness in being the most responsible and giving grandparents and father/husband we could ever ask for," she explains.
Raising her boys the correct way
She says, I choose various methods to mould my sons in to empathetic human beings who respect others, especially females. They see their mother struggling to stay afloat in a patriarchal society and they learn the challenges their mother faces every day.
"I think it’s a healthy learning experience for them about the ways of the world. I teach them about the female anatomy in a scientific and clinical way combining Buddhist teachings
"I teach them that there is nothing fascinating underneath the clothes but only flesh, blood and a beating heart that needs equal respect and compassion as any being would. Since they are still at a tender age this is done sparingly for now but they know more is yet to come."
In this age of parents throwing extravagant birthday parties for kids, Miuru's way of 'celebrating' her boys' birthdays is certainly refreshing.
"I have broken the days of my sons’ birthdays in to morning and evening events. In the morning we almost always give alms to Maha Sangha, or make a donation at a children’s home or the cancer hospital, and in the evening they get to spend their time with friends."
She also teaches her boys about the beauty of giving to others.
Miuru says, "charity work based on the need of the hour comes as a huge part of my children’s lives, be it buying dry rations for the flood affected or distributing school books among under privileged children. So much so that they have begun to inquire if we aren’t donating when they see news reports of natural or man-made disasters in the country."
Due to Miuru's journalism background and overseas exposure from both work and studies, she also believes in the importance of teaching her kids about other cultures and countries. So, along with her husband, they've made it a yearly ritual to go on an overseas family trip.
In her words, this helps the kids "get as much exposure to the world outside of the confines of their home and country."
Mums of boys, take note!
The power of fitness
Miuru gives us all some serious fitness goals! Other than eating healthy, this mummy practices yoga. She tells us how she got into yoga in the first place:
"Yoga was introduced to me by one of my best friends - Yasara - about four years ago. It is known that regular practice of certain yoga asanas can add inches to any ones’ height. I only had one mission back then, to add at least two inches to my dwarfy five foot tall body. Little did I know then, that it will be a huge part of my life in time to come. And no I am yet to see the height increase!"
Mums, Miuru says the below pranayama is very effective for fat loss in tummy.
More of Miuru's Yoga asanas
Below: This starts with 2 basic poses: Sarvangasana and Halasana
But for Miuru, yoga offers much more than just fitness.
"Yoga is not only a fitness regime but also a path to spirituality. Its breathing and meditation techniques through the three years I have been practicing it have made me calmer, more patient and focused in everything I do," she explains.
Yoga has also helped Miuru overcome chronic back pain, which she feels was a result of her two C-section deliveries.
Yoga tips for beginner mums
Miuru is still on the way to becoming an advanced yogi with the help of Yoga guru Lalith Vidanagamage and considers herself an intermediate yogi at the moment.
She shares what worked for her in terms of weight loss, relief for spinal pain, healthier skin tone, flexibility and balance.
For those beginning yoga, Miruru suggests the following asanas, which she followed herself: Surya namaskar/ vrikshasana, natarajasana, danurasana, salambasana, uttanasana. And a regular practice of pranayama (breathing/meditating techniques).
The benefits include weight loss, relief for spinal pain, control of high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid issues, cholesterol etc.
However, she does recommend anyone attempting yoga to first go to a qualified instructor and start a daily half an hour practice at home with the help of numerous YouTube video tutorials aimed at Yoga beginners.
She points out that Surya Namaskar/ Chandra Namaskar sequences are a great way to start Yoga.
And final word of wisdom: "It is also helpful to keep in mind that there you should not compete with your body to accomplish an Asana; that your body will adapt gradually with regular practice and once its ready, you will achieve the full formation as in the text book."
You can follow Miuru's yoga journey on Instagram via @Yogaemjay.
Her advice to all mums
We certainly have a lot to learn from this multi-tasking, super-talented mum. But her words of wisdom for all of you are simple:
“Don’t to neglect yourself. Value me-time, which is so important to 'reset' yourself after hours of pouring your full attentions to other matters, be it related to work or family (usually both!).”
We couldn’t agree more!
We thank Miuru for sharing her story with us. Would you like to be featured as one of our 'Sri Lankan Super Mums' or do you know someone who you think will inspire others? Just drop us a message via our Facebook fan page!