The Yoga of New Motherhood

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The Yoga of New Motherhood: realizations of a postpartum yogini |

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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