I have been practicing yoga for about 12 years, now, and even practiced through my pregnancy. I have a regular home practice that I have stuck with for quite some time. I had a baby about 16 months ago. I did yoga throughout my entire pregnancy up until about three weeks before I had my baby.
I wanted to give up going to yoga at about 5 months into my pregnancy and it had nothing to do with what doctors told me to do. It was mostly my stubborn mind. I would get frustrated that the rest of the class could go into all the poses and I couldn’t get into half of them. I found myself leaving classes feeling like crap because I felt like I had a pointless yoga practice.
I still forced myself to go and some classes were better than others, until finally that very last month I kind of just gave up on it. I told myself I will get right back into it once I pop the baby out. Well, I ended up having a C- section and I didn’t end up starting my own practice at home again until about 8 weeks later because I was pretty sore.
What I didn’t expect was to lose most of my core strength after my pregnancy and to not able to do a lot of poses that I was able to do before. I really beat myself up over it. It took me about 8 months following pregnancy to really gain my strength back and even to this day my core is still much weaker than it was. I stopped beating myself up over it after a while because I knew I had to be kinder to myself and because having a baby was worth everything.
After doing my teacher training I realized how hard I was on myself throughout my practice and in everyday life. Learning about the Yamas and Niyamas really changed my thinking. I realize that during those times I should have been practicing Santosha: Contentment. I learned the importance of opening my heart with gratitude for everything I have and I learned to be okay with wherever I may be in my practice on the mat, in this moment.
It made me realize that, in order to teach this to others, I need to live it.
How do you live your yoga?
Contributed by guest author, Alessandra Turone, Yoga Teacher Training Alum
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