7.31.2011

pre-natal yoga ponderings

How does one do yoga with a baby on board? About the same as pre-bebe for me. Common sense should prevail of course, but in general avoid major twists, long stints on your back, and anything that doesn't feel right, as usual. My own yoga experience during pregnancy has been interesting. In the nauseated days when I was still teaching class, I had a constant fear of tossing my yogi cookies in front of potentially horrified participants, but thank goodness it never happened! As I progressed I could do most stuff and some things even felt more stable, surprisingly tree, half moon and down dog were highly doable.

As I enter the last couple weeks of this unique approximately 266 day experience, some issues have arisen and are fine, but new to me. Potty break before, during and after class was necessary last week, ha ha, listen to your body is never more unignorable than during pregnancy. The body is practically shouting its messages, take it easy, rest those feet, EAT. I shortened my down dog to just one breath, and propped my hips up for all floor work, blankets are a pregnant ladies best friend, next to pillows of course. I wonder how to best carry yoga into the birth experience. I find that yoga helps me release tension (cos I yawn the whole class pretty much) and I know the hospital is not my calm place yet. I will do some chair flow, lateral flexion, and mountain in the early part of labor, possibly cow and cat. I will practice letting go, and visualization of another place. Above all, I will concentrate on my breathing, slow and steady is what mom and baby both need. Letting go of expectation is probably the hardest for me, since I have high hopes of a natural birth. I know it will be hard for me to let go of that if something freaky happens. Eventually I know I have to let go of judgment as well, of myself and others throughout the experience, trying to stay positive, focused and deliberate, we will all do the best we can and keep the intention of healthy mom and healthy baby in mind at all times. Namaste,

Kat

7.05.2011

Yoga Mama

As I sit here, the baby is kicking quite a lot, most often in the right ribs, simmer down sweet pea, we'll meet soon :) This has been quite a journey over the last 34 weeks and counting, around 6 to go! Those early and long couple of months of wretched nausea gave way to relative normalcy. Okay, it's been different but not too bad - nighttime jaunts to the restroom and kitchen, more doctors visits than I've had in my whole life to name a couple. Of course the ever present reminder is the central-level expansion right around my root chakra, on a costant mission to grow a baby. In the meantime I have felt pretty good, but a little more tired, more popping of the knees, more food-focus, less shoe-lace competence, and a host of emotional experiences that are fine but can also be overwhelming at times.

Through this trip I've come to realize a few things from yoga apply now more than ever. Number ONE (which takes care of all others, really): Find the present moment. Having a baby will pull and tug and rip you into the future, and possibly the past. You can lay awake thinking about birth: "What will feeding be like, do I have all the right stuff? Will my body go back to the way it was? Will I be an okay mom? What was good about my childhood that I want to recreate? Anything I want to avoid? What will I do if he won't stop crying?" It's good to have a counter-voice in the back of your mind. "We'll cross those bridges when we get to them, you know?" Number TWO: Stuff! As parents we get pulled into needing all kinds of stuff and it distracts from the central focus. Carseat, crib, most essential, along with diapers, cremes, and clothes of course. What about toys, blankets, stroller, high chair? Where to store it? Do we need to move? Is our car safe? Again, the yoga voice is hopefully whispering, "We can always get that later if we really need it."

For now I feel pretty ready to meet my little one, but am trying to stay flexible. Here's another final biggie: Let go of expectation. Down to the day he comes we won't know when we'll meet and can't really control exactly how he comes. For the first time in my life, I'm going to be the main and constant (okay co-)caretaker of another human for everything, food, warmth, shelter, love. I am excited to be a mom. It's a steep job, but one that becomes easier to handle as I realize that I will take each day as it comes, and will have lots of resources to help if I get stuck. I'll have my dear husband, wonderful family and friends, as well as doctors and hotlines just in case. I get this chance to spend an amazing first year learning the ropes of rearing a little one, and getting to know this human being, and to help encourage and nourish him and see what unfolds. What more fascinating job really could someone ask for?

Namaste,
Kat

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