The Yoga of New Motherhood

The Yoga of New Motherhood: realizations of a postpartum yogini | VeganYogaLife.com

This morning I seized an opportunity that has been rare in my life recently. I went to yoga. This might not seem like some magical feat to the average person. In fact, you may be wondering why it is rare for me, considering “yoga” is in the name of my blog! 

As a kid, did you ever lie on your back and look up at the ceiling thinking how interesting it would be if gravity suddenly tucked in on itself and everything were reversed? What it would be like if the ceiling became the floor and the floor became the ceiling.

That’s sort of what I’ve felt like for the past five months.

Five months ago my world got turned upside down – in the best way imaginable. Five months ago my heart was yanked away from it’s usual spot in my emotional body and found a new home rooted deep inside a baby beautiful girl we named Jemma.

I say “upside down” because life looked completely different than it ever had before. Gravity shifted and there was almost nothing familiar about my life. Almost nothing to grab a hold of to stabilize me. Except maybe my breath. And trust, an ever elusive glimmer in the anxiety-ridden days of new motherhood.

Before Jemma arrived in my world, I knew in my logical brain that being a mother meant surrendering and becoming less selfish, giving whatever was necessary to provide for another – a tiny, helpless being. But it wasn’t until I actually became a mother that I realized the magnitude of the transformation that was required and that was naturally taking place.

In the first few months, I was focused entirely on the needs of my little one. I honestly can say that I barely remembered a “me” without a baby in my arms. But after a while I really started missing aspects of my life from before, especially my yoga practice.

So I began getting back into a rhythm with my body and my practice. Stepping onto my yoga mat with baby laying at my feet and letting whatever happened, happen. It felt good. Not the same as before. But good.

I missed going to my favorite yoga studio and getting lost in the flow and the music and vibes. I missed the yoga that I was used to and had thought of as a sort of fuel for the soul. And I’m not going to lie…I missed the ability to pick up and go to a class whenever I wanted.

Let’s just say I had ALL the feelings. Being a new mom is confusing.

Somehow though, I’ve made my way through these past five months in constantly shifting states ranging from overwhelmed wonder, sleepy frustration, exploding gratitude, and humbling surrender.

Going to yoga today gave me a few minutes to be my “old self.” I uncovered a tiny stretch of the path toward balance – between being a mother and being ME. 

But at the same time… as I write this (with a baby sleeping on my lap) I realize…though I may not have gone to my favorite yoga class in a very long time….I’ve been doing yoga along. Through…

every moment of self-reflection or self-study…

every pause for a deep breath…

every decision to trust myself or my partner or my child…

every experience that humbled me enough to teach me something…

every choice of gratitude over self-pity regardless of the circumstance…

every recognition of abundance all around me…

All of these experiences are the yoga of my life for the past five months and foreseeable future. And I’m so glad for that realization.

 

 

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  • Jan Oliver

    Beautiful and inspiring!

Working on Jemmaโ€™s first Christmas stocking while she naps. ๐Ÿ’•๐ŸŽ„โœจโ›„๏ธ #babys1stchristmas #sewingprojects #momlife (Being careful not to accidentally throw away important pieces of it like her halloween costume! ๐Ÿ˜‚)
Exploring the snow before it melts! Who would have known Jemma would see snow for the second time her first year and in Austin of all places?! โ„๏ธโ˜๏ธ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ’– #babyssecondsnow #snowinaustin
Roasted veggies on spring mix with homemade dressing made of tahini, garlic, liquid aminos and black pepper. ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿป #whatveganseat
Vegan #ThanksLiving meal. Mashed potatoes and gravy, Mac n cheese, two kinds of stuffing, creamed corn, sauerkraut carrots, mustard glazed cauliflower and cranberry relish. #veganthanksgiving #thanksliving
Reward beers at the top of the mountain #happythanksgiving #craftbeerhike
Down dog on the Evergreen Mountain Trail! #happythanksliving #happythanksgivingday
Babyโ€™s first snow! #9mo #babysfirstsnow #thanksliving
Tofu soyrizo scramble with @followyourheart provolone, scallions and greens. Wrap it in a tortilla with avocado and you have a legit breakfast burrito! #whatveganseat #twigsandleaves
Having fun exploring Evergreen. #cutesthat #9mo
Got take out from @watercoursefoods and brought it to pair with some amazing beers at @crookedstave. Our selection included their burger with crispy onions, the Cuban sandwich with a side of Mac n cheese and the Korean bbq cauliflower wings with peanut dipping sauce. LEGIT. Denverโ€™s vegan food game is on point ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป The Trellis Buster DIPA from @crookedstave was #amazeballsAF! #veganfood #denvervegan #denvercraftbeer
Love this view of father and daughter watching the sunrise in our cozy mountain house in Evergreen! (Having a baby while on vacation means no sleeping in!) Gorgeous views of endless pine trees, peaks and valleys bathed in peach and coral tones as the sun makes its first appearance for the day. So grateful for my beautiful family and to be enjoying this serene environment for the whole week! ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป๐Ÿ’– #halosleepsack #9mo
Vegan biscuits and gravy with coffee - amazing! #denvervegan #homecookin #veganbreakfast #veganonvacation
Homemade minestrone #vegansoup #soupweather
Pigging out on the best vegan cheese ever from @miyokoschinner. The double cream chive is amazing - I could just eat it by the spoonful ๐Ÿ˜‚ If youโ€™re looking for a good #dairyfreecheese then this is a must try! Every non vegan Iโ€™ve introduced it to also raves about it! #veganonvacation #vegancheese #veganfoodshare
Bomb AF tempeh bacon hash from @cityocity with crispy potato slices, sautรฉed veggies, tofu scramble and topped with cashew ricotta and.... GRAVY - what?! So delish and I canโ€™t wait to go back. Good thing weโ€™re in Denver for a week. Thereโ€™s too many things on the menu I could barely decide what to get. This proved to be a legit choice. Well done ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿปโœจ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜ #veganfood #denvervegan