I have to admit that I didn’t think my yoga practice would be any different post baby. It didn’t occur to me that my body would need time to recover from the 9 months of being pregnant, and the 38 hours of labor and delivery I experienced before I held my son in my arms. I had it all planned out, a couple of weeks of restorative yoga classes to recharge, and then right back into a strong daily practice of hot yoga and inversions.
Perhaps as a yoga instructor I should have known better, but as a first time mom I am cutting myself a little slack. Needless to say although I am recovering nicely, I did not bounce back with superhuman strength. It took 3 weeks before I could manage more than yogic breathing. At almost 5 months since the birth of my son, I am slowly starting to feel strong again.
Now more than ever, I find my body directs my personal practice; I yearn to do what feels good. Twisting poses have been a godsend. For the first couple of months after I delivered, I woke with my back in constant agony. Now, after practicing yoga almost daily, the pain is completely gone! When I do miss a day, my body reminds me to roll out my mat, even if only for 5 minutes of meditation. The experience of pregnancy and motherhood has made me more in tune with myself, more ready to listen.
Listening to my body means that for now I have put my yang-centric practice temporarily on hold. I used to love starting the day in headstand; now I begin in seated meditation and take that opportunity to set an intention. Some days I ask for patience and strength, other days I sit and marvel at my blessings. Sometimes those moments are all I have time for, and I have learned to be thankful for even the briefest yoga practice. Other days I am fortunate, and find a half hour or more to move through my asana practice. Savasana has never felt so luxurious; I can literally feel my body soaking up all that yogic goodness. On the days when I cannot take a full savasana, I try to take a few moments in silent gratitude. Of course as a new mom there are days when I don’t have time for either, and have to run off my mat mid pose. I do my best not to get attached to finishing the full half hour, or however much time I had hoped to spend on my mat. Yoga will always be there for me, but my son will only be a baby once, and I treasure every moment I get to spend with him. If I have to cut my yoga practice short today there is always tomorrow; I will set down my mat and try again.
Charlotte Singmin is a certified yoga instructor, yoga therapist, and writer, with a thirst for knowledge and a passion for health and wellness. She loves to travel and is eagerly collecting yoga certifications. Charlotte recently became a proud new mom is grateful everyday for all the love in her life.
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/CharlotteAnnaSingmin