Monday, July 28

Yoga is a journey

I've been a little shocked with how weak my body feels in my postnatal yoga practice versus before I became pregnant. Heck, even compared to when I was pregnant! I swear I could do chatarunga up until my belly was too big and in the way to do it, which was up until six or seven months pregnant if I remember correctly.

Six weeks seems to be the magic number doctors and midwives give for returning to exercise post baby; ever since hitting this milestone three weeks ago, I've been trying to do more power yoga to get ready to go back to teaching at the YMCA, which I will return to in a week! I really wanted more time off to be more physically ready, but unfortunately my subs couldn't extend their coverage of my two and a half classes. So when I hit the six-week mark, I tried a 20-minute, power yoga routine of Baron Baptiste's I did all the time before having Brijin and even while I was pregnant. Well three weeks ago, I could barely make it through, let alone attempt chatarunga. I felt like crying because my body was so different from before and even during my pregnancy.

My frustration of not being able to do chatarunga and several other postures reminded me of something I've told my yoga students time and time again. Listen to your body. Yoga is a journey and not a destination. Every day is a unique day; no matter if you've just had a baby or not, your body is going to feel differently every day. Some days you can accomplish amazing feats and other days it's just enough to get your mat rolled out and do child's pose. Once I accepted my hypocrisy and stopped beating myself up, I let it go and enjoyed what I could do. Yesterday, nine weeks after having our baby, I was able to do chatarunga, and what a pleasure it was! Now I may only be able to do ONE chatarunga a practice, but I will celebrate that one posture like it's the first time I accomplished it. And if I can't even do one on another day, I need to accept it and thank my body for all the other asanas it could do. As Yoga Sutra 2:46 says, "The posture should be steady and comfortable."

If you're a new mom like me, make sure to give your body time to recooperate and enjoy your journey back into yoga. Check out this article: Postpartum Yoga for New Moms.


Brenda Plakans said...

Happy 10 doesn't seem like it's been that long. This summer has flown!

Remember, yoga is so much more than asana. I've found that, especially with two kids, the benefits of pranayama and a yoga mindset do me much more service than any poses. Ultimately, that will be the practice you can take with you your entire life.

The power yoga is great for getting your body back, but even that is a long-term process (it took 9 months to get there, right?).

So, keep giving yourself permission to slow it down and take it easy. You will never be the person you were before Brijin (she will see to that), so observe the changes without judging.

That being said, congrats on the chaturanga!

Yoga Mama said...

Good point Brenda. Asana is more my concentration, although I have been trying to delve deeper into the other seven branches of yoga.

So glad you're still keeping up with me, even though I've been yoga-light!


Vamadev said...

I am working with a yoga teacher in Southampton who runs excellent Yoga classes for pregnant women. I recently read on her website that women have a hormone that is released in pregnancy that increases the ability to stretch. The hormone is called relaxin, have a look for your self:
Pregnancy yoga classes, in the Southampton Area

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