pregnant / Uncategorized / yoga

Practicing Practicing Yoga

It’s not a typo.

In yoga, we say we are practitioners. The Sanskrit word I like to use is Sadhaka, which is more like a dedicated-to-the-path-of-yoga-practitioner-and-devoted-student, but that obviously doesn’t translate simply into English.

My practice has changed so much in the past few months, which was to be expected. It was one thing I was really looking forward to about being pregnant (yoga practice, interesting. back pain, lack of sleep, excessive burping, less interesting).

At 7 months pregnant (29.5 weeks, but who’s counting), I feel like I have to learn how to practice yoga all over again. Which is humbling. And challenging.

We all have different labels we wear all day, and in yoga class, it isn’t always different. I was “flexible” and “a back-bender.” Those and many other identifying aspects of my practice are gone now. I’ve been a “pranayama-practitioner” and a “restorative pose lover” by my own labeling.

It turns out these are both things I needed in my practice. I have grown to love and depend on pranayama, as I’ve written about before. The art and skill of lying or sitting and just breathing is a huge challenge for me, as movement-y as I like to be. But I feel how much better my day goes if I spend the 30 minutes in the morning doing it.

And, for similar reasons, it was always difficult for me to practice restorative poses on my own. It feels so indulgent to lie around in yoga poses and rest. Isn’t that what sleeping is for?! But it turns out to be a very different kind of rest, one that I know I’ll need when Raspberry is born and as he (and the other kids) grow up.

In a few months, it will be time to move on to the post-natal practice, which means serious abdominal work and strength building to get myself back to “my practice.” My challenge to myself: Learn how to practice both of “my” practices and reap the benefits of both.

photo/photoshop credit: Emma Chong

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