As a Yoga teacher, I have looked to embrace and practice Yoga in a holistic manner, at times I have related more to a physical practice and at other times the practice of Yoga has become more of an internal spiritual work.
This blog entry will share how my yoga practice had to change & transform when I gave birth to my son 11 months ago; Yoga is a fluid practice which comprises philosophy alongside physical, emotional and mental aspects; when I became a mother, the physical aspect of my practice took a step back due to the fact that my body needed to heal, but also because Yoga philosophy served me more in helping me go through the emotional and mental transformations that a new mum experiences when caring for a baby, I found myself with low levels of energy due to the lack of sleep and lacking significant free time due to the demands associated to adjusting to a new lifestyle. Motherhood brings extreme feelings: extreme tiredness, extreme compassion, and a forever growing love that I did not know before I looked at my baby, motherhood also brings an enormous sense of responsibility knowing that I must care for a tiny human life, care for his development and nurture him to grow to be a realized young person/adult.
My view of Yoga has always been beyond the physical practice, for me, Yoga is not standing on my head but rather standing firmly with both feet in the ground, feeling like you belong to your body, allowing my mind to be in harmony with my actions, and most importantly, allowing me to feeling stable in the midst of change and chaos that can sometimes surround me. So, when I found myself to be in a situation where a lot of experiences were new to me I turned to Yoga for centering. Before the birth of my son I was admitted to hospital for 2 weeks with severe pre-eclampsia, during this time I had to share a lot of time with other women in similar situations like me, 3 of them really got impatient and felt so angry against the fact that they had to be in hospital that they begged the doctors to accelerate the process of giving birth resulting in low weight premature babies, I also felt the despair, the struggle to accept my situation, the typical “Why me?!” question, but I turned to Yoga and it helped me to allow the situation to flow, and in spite of being very ill, I was in good spirits and was always positive, which allowed me to take my son Sebastian to full term without the risks of a premature birth, not sure I would have been able to do this without my Yoga & meditation practice.
Becoming a mother is a big transformation, the biggest I have experienced so far, the independent life I led was replaced by a life with a different kind of responsibility, baby schedules, routines and unpredictability, transforming to this new life isn’t as easy as it might seem, so, I found myself having to do a lot of internal work to speed this process of adaptation and transformation, so how did yoga helped? Meditation, chanting and breathing became more prevalent in my life. I found myself chanting OM very often to my son and he loves it. In parallel I found myself reading far more the philosophy of Yoga, the depth of the teachings in the Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita show the ever changing nature of life, the jumping nature of the mind and explains how Yoga can help the individual through these changes.
My meditation practice reminded me of the peace that comes when one control the breath, while doing this the Yoga teacher in me got reminded of the importance of learning easier ways to meditate, ways that will help the mind achieve a state of concentration needed to meditate and the steps to it, as a result I designed and ran a workshop on meditation using easier techniques which will be shared in future blog entries.
As my body healed I re-started my practice, but not alone anymore! I have a baby who enhances my yoga practice in a holistic manner!
I am still a new mother, I am still learning how to be a solid support to my son, and in the process, I am learning to let go of aspects of my old self to make space for the qualities that developed when nurturing a life.
I finish this blog entry with the following quote from B.K.S. Iyengar about embracing change.
Yoga is a fluid practice that needs to be adapted as the circumstances and demands on our lives change, if the body is exhausted (in my case due to sleep deprivation, but it can be due to any other causes) the best is to listen to it and do not push it hard, there is always internal work that needs to be undertaken with a stronger meditation or breathing practice.
Yoga teacher & Senior Scientist working full time with a major Multinational.