Yoga Mama

I love yoga.  Before I became a mother, yoga was a big part of my life.  I had so many happy visions of doing downward facing dog with a swollen pregnant belly.

The first time I got pregnant I was very active in the yoga community and at the tail end of a teacher training at Lotus Garden Yoga School.  After graduation I continued to attend my weekly yoga class at Creative Edge Yoga and excitedly shared the news of my impending motherhood right away with my teacher.  He was thrilled for me and immediately gave me a big hug.  He was so happy to have a pregnant student in his class.

The next few weeks ticked by and I proudly showed up to every class and my teacher modified my triangle and boat poses appropriate for the first trimester and I felt so special.  I remember feeling like my baby and me were doing yoga together. One week my teacher said to me that he could see my tiny belly starting to show a hint of a bump and I smiled feeling such pride.  Later that week, I found out I was miscarrying.

At first I blamed yoga.  I thought I had twisted a little too deeply, bent a little too far forward, bent a little too far backward, done an inversion incorrectly, somehow yoga was responsible for losing my baby and so was I.  I stopped going to class for a while. I was angry and incredibly sad.

My teacher did an amazing thing for me and he reached out to me.  He offered to do a healing meditation with me and I accepted.  I met up with him on a cool Saturday morning in the yoga studio.  Just him and I.  He sat down with me and looked me straight in the eye and asked how I was doing.  I burst into tears.  I sobbed while I told him how yoga let me down, he let me down, my body let me down.  My baby was gone and all of my happy visions with it.  He let me be angry, he encouraged it actually.  After I was done crying he gently reminded me of how careful I was in class, how we modified the poses and done everything by the book.  And ultimately how this loss was bigger than both of us and there was no making sense of it.  I realized he was right and that started my healing process and my return to the mat.

Three years later I got pregnant with Sweetness and I admit, I stopped doing yoga.  I was too scared, terrified actually, of losing yet another pregnancy.  It wasn’t rational, but it was something I felt I must do for my own peace of mind.

Well Sweetness is now nine months old and I’ve sat on my mat for a total of one time since her arrival.  My best friend reminded me earlier this week how much of a yogi I once was (and still am!).  Being the wonderful friend who knows me so well, she encouraged me to dust off my mat and practice my yoga.  Do it with the baby, show her how you center yourself, she nudged.  That was three days ago and I’ve done yoga with Sweetness everyday since.  Of course it’s not the hour and fifteen minute sessions I used to do and I don’t get to lay in savasana at the end but it doesn’t matter. It was pure BLISS.  She pulled my hair while I was in downward facing down and I started to laugh!

So maybe I wasn’t able to be the pregnant yoga mama I fantasized about so many years ago but I am a yoga mama and this is what I see when I practice yoga now:

Thanks for coming into my life Sweetness.  You  are my light.  Namaste.

P.S.  I can’t write about my beloved yoga and not mention Kripalu in Lenox, MA.  If you need spirituality, yoga, relaxation, rejuvenation, a massage, quiet time for yourself, good food, meditation, and more, it is the place to go.  I know we’re all busy moms and I don’t know when I’ll get back there but I’ve promised myself I’ll go again someday.  It’s good for the soul!

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