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Thursday, September 24, 2015

How My Yoga Has Changed Through Pregnancy

I had a lovely baby shower this past weekend, and there were many people who commented, very politely, on how my yoga has changed over the course of my pregnancy. I can not argue with them, the asanas ( poses) have definitely changed. Months ago I was posting my progression into handstands and fun crazy arm balances, and now I am posting strong simple standing poses.

January 2015
September 2015

What I wanted to say to my friends and family, is yes my asana has changed but my YOGA has not changed, if anything it has become more enriched.

For those women who have gone through or are going through pregnancy, you will understand this statement, YOUR BODY IS A MIRACLE. It is still crazy to me to think that I am currently growing a human being inside my body, that if need be could come out right now and live without major medical assistance in our world. Not only do you house the miracle of life, your body begins to do things it never did before. The changes in our physical being are almost just as miraculous as the human which is growing within you.

Noting all of that, of course your physical practice is going to change through pregnancy. Those deep binds and bends that I used to do so effortless now seem unreachable and those fun to practice arm balances, forget it! I have seen some awesome yogini's continue to practice arm balance and backbends through out their pregnancy and I say " Go for you!" But for me, I will continue to honor my body and do exactly what it does or doesn't need, which is the practice of yoga.

As I stated above, my asana has changed but my YOGA has not. In Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, the book in which the practice of Ashtanga yoga is defined, sutra two states that yoga is the cessation of through waves in the mind. Let us all remember that the practice of yoga is far beyond the physical practice. The physical practice of yoga is only one of the eight limbs of Ashtanga yoga, only one! There are seven more amazing limbs, including the restraints and observances of ethical guidelines, breathing practices, concentration, meditation and enlightenment.

So in some ways I feel that I have actually progressed in my yoga practice through this pregnancy, because for the first time, I think ever, I have truly learned to honor my body, give it what it needs and not push through poses that do not serve me or my babes. I focus on poses linked with my breath, to reduce anxiety and bring focus to the present moment. My breathing practices will also help both me and my babe to tackle the biggest challenge of our lives, birth. I use my practice to focus on the amazing things my body is doing versus the things my body can not do anymore ( which is a lot).

Forward Fold Modifications for Pregnancy 
 In conclusion, yes, for now I will not be posting cool handstand pictures on my instagram. But, I will continue to post the amazing shapes my body can practice. Though there may only be a few as we near the end of this journey we call the creation of life, I know that my practice has progressed in so many other ways and I feel no shame in that.

Yogash-citta-vrtti-nirodhah - Yoga is the cessation of thought waves in the mind.


1 comment:

  1. Babies are such a blessing. It is mind blowing to think about the whole process. My wife has been doing yoga for about three years now. She started when she became pregnant with our second child. She said yoga changed her life and helped the pregnancy and delivery process go much smoother. Good luck with your pregnancy and delivery!