My latest learning curve has come in the form of a round eminence slowly taking hold of my midriff. A baby bump. For the past 5 months I have been practicing for 2. One of us has had more demands than the other.
I am a big thinker and the thought of becoming a parent is not something I haven’t masticated endlessly over in my mind. How to keep a child safe yet not stifled, how to teach ethical and moral values and raise a person that is both strong and sensitive. Yet for all the forethought I never considered this 9 months in transition and how change and concession would occur immediately. The learning starts now.
It turns out pregnancy can be really hard- (and I am lucky to say that I am healthy and low risk.) And I refer to my own unique experience SO FAR aware that the next few months may be totally distinct. I know at some point these sensations that seem so potent now will lose there potency and pregnancy will seem like a brief spell in a hazy waiting room.
Before our baby was the size of an almond I was aware I was not on my own any more. My practice, which I knew would certainly change once baby is born, was already not just mine. Vomiting and nausea struck through out the day worsened by any slight movement meaning asana was out of the question. Even meditation made (and still does) make me feel queasy. And so my practice became totally mental, as the significance of the Yamas and Niyamas took precedence, keeping strength of mind was vital when I physically felt weak and out of control. My yoga practice became a way to observe and ease the sense of guilt I was experiencing over not being able to work, to cook, to clean, to shop, to reply to emails, to get out of bed. My yoga practice became a way to cultivate patience and a sense of gratitude that I knew I was not ill, this was simply a waiting game. My yoga practice encouraged me to be kind to myself during this wait. I read, I practiced yoga nidra regularly and took restorative yoga poses to maintain a sense of spaciousness in my body. And I waited. I googled for other yoga teachers advice on continuing teaching throughout pregnancy and was disheartened by how easy it seemed other people managed. I ignored instagram for weeks, baby bumps in complex yoga postures seemed so laughable I could have cried. Guilt, observe, ease, patience, gratitude, kindness. I stopped teaching completely, rested, waited.
And thankfully I now feel so much better. I am teaching, I feel I have something to offer again and the capacity with which to offer it. I am able to practice some kind of asana daily though it is not just my practice any more. I am enjoying learning what feels good, healthy and sustainable. I often say to my students that each time we come onto our yoga mat we have a slightly different body, a slightly different set of conditions. I am practicing what I preach.