What’s your yoga today?

“Pass me a yoga belt!” I cry at the husband. I’m lying on my yoga mat for the first time since giving birth to my beautiful daughter, Molly. I have snatched a few quiet moments just to touch base with my practice again. The thought process goes a little like this…

Can’t reach my toes without a belt! (Gasp!) Hamstrings screaming! (Shock horror!) Belly like jelly! (Where the hell is my core?!) Shoulders like the Tin Man (Gulp!) Back like a 90 year old (What the $%&£ happened to my wheel pose?!)

Yes, despite giving the air of being a peaceful yogi, this barrage of inner commentary was anything but serene. Smattered with expletives and full of negativity. The voice of my own ego had suddenly reared its ugly head to tell me just what it thought of my body and my yoga practice post pregnancy.

Did I expect to just spring back onto the mat, busting out backbends and handstands left, right and centre? If I am honest with you, I was not prepared for just how out of sorts I would feel. Never mind the fact that I’d recently given birth to a 10lb 8oz bouncing baby after 22 hours of labour. Oh no, the old ego just could not get its head around the fact that things were not quite as it thought they should be. From the wobbly belly to the only recently healed stitches, it was is no wonder there wasn’t a mula bandha in sight.

Motherhood so far has been an amazing journey, but I won’t lie to you, it has been intense and extremely tiring! There are times I’ve cried with exhaustion and the pressure of not quite knowing what it is this little being really wants. Am I doing this right? Should I be feeding her now or is she just windy? The book says don’t do it that way… From the round the clock feedings to the weight of sleep depravation, being a new mum really is a full time job.

The result being that my yoga practice has taken a back seat. Apart from a snatched 20 minutes here and there, there has not been much time to break out much more than a sun salutation or two. If I am honest with you again, I’ve worried about a number of things, from my body not getting back to its old self again, to thoughts of what my students would think if I couldn’t manage to hold a headstand. Things that seem trivial in writing, but at the same time remain all consuming during the little time I do spend on my mat.

But for now my yoga is clearly about something else. My yoga is about being a mummy to little Molly. As my own teacher, Lucy, so beautifully put it:

“You are doing hardcore karma/bhakti yoga right now. devotional self-surrender and 24/7 service to this little being who is no doubt teaching you about patience and letting go like no other teacher before… at the same time breaking your heart open to know a love like no other. Life shows me that asana {the physical yoga practice} is such an eensy teensy part of it all…”

…she’s right. Little Molly does not care if I cannot touch my toes and she does not mind if my hips are tighter than a pair of spandex! While my yoga mat is always there, these moments of motherhood…the first smile, the first laugh, the feeling of a little warm body against your chest…are moments I would not change for anything. That’s my yoga today…what’s yours?

“Your yoga begins when you leave the classroom.
It’s how you relate to people and how you relate to the world.
Your yoga is the giving and receiving.
It’s the wellness between inner and outer worlds.”

Nancy Gerstein

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  • Reply Lina September 19, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Such beautifull words! Thanks for your honesty and share of Lucy’s wonderful insight.

    • Reply Cheryl Parsons September 26, 2012 at 4:08 pm

      Thanks Lina!! THanks so much for reading!! xxx

  • Reply Lucy Roberts September 20, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    Ah Cheryl, I’ve only just now read this after Lindy mentioned that you had mentioned me. Who am I to give you advice on this topic anyway? Thanks though for your kind words. So proud of you and delighted to meet the wee Molly the other day. I very reluctantly gave her back you know! I would’ve liked to whisk her away for a quiet cuddle somewhere. It was so peaceful to have her in my arms. Enjoy the journey. I’m enjoying watching. Lots of love xxx

    • Reply Cheryl Parsons September 26, 2012 at 4:07 pm

      Thanks so much Lucy, and for your words, which meant a lot to me in this time of total change!! Always inspired by you and thankful for connecting with you and yoga. Cuddles are available anytime you are over!! Look forward to seeing you again very soon!! xxxx

  • Reply Line September 21, 2012 at 1:02 am

    Mine… to practice the same acceptance of what is, right now, as pregnancy has taught me for 8 months. I’m with you Cheryl. Reflecting on it as you do in writing is what brings the truth of the moment up to surface. Lucy speaks the wise truth, that we both know but forget when sleep deprivation, mirror gazing and those cruel moments on the yoga mat causes us to get caught in a judgemental headspace. Good thing we have the little reminder of our baby girls to know what’s really important.

    • Reply Cheryl Parsons September 26, 2012 at 4:08 pm

      Line, you are so right. Much love to you and can’t WAIT to see and meet your baby girl!!! Blessings and love xxxx

  • Reply Anna October 16, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    Thanks Cheryl. With a little one on the way, I appreciate your openness and honesty. The inner commentary you mention sounds so familiar as I have similar concerns.

    I really like the perspective you have taken on – about yoga now being about something else. Or, as Lucy puts, “You are doing hardcore karma/bhakti yoga right now. Devotional self-surrender and 24/7 service to this little being who is no doubt teaching you about patience and letting go like no other teacher before…”

    To surrender, new adventures and understanding yoga on a whole new level! Thank you.

    Anna 🙂

    • Reply Cheryl Parsons October 19, 2012 at 11:49 am

      Just came across your comment Anna as I hadn’t checked in a while! Yes, definitely taking the yoga to a whole new level. Thanks so much for reading, and I can’t wait to hear about your little bundle of joy!! xxxxxx

  • Reply Anna October 19, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Thanks Cheryl! Love your latest post too! A Google holiday… I think I need to take a Baby Center holiday!

    • Reply Cheryl Parsons October 19, 2012 at 2:38 pm

      Thanks Anna! Yes, I do the baby centre thing too! It’s addictive all this searching! Hope to meet up with you soon for a cuppa and we can compare notes! xxx

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