Healing Through Yoga: A Pregnancy Journey
written by Charlene Lim
As I sit here to write this, I am slightly reminded of memories that I may have packed away and want to somewhat forget. Oof! What a sentence to start this post..
A little background on this particular topic of pregnancy for me- it has been two years now since our little one has been born. And two years ago, a few months into the pandemic (the thing that would be nice to never mention again!) we found out that we were pregnant. A little further background on that - we never intended to be parents and in fact had made a decision about that for our lives, and hence this was quite a shock to the system, in what then felt like the craziest timing. The world seemed like it was falling apart at the seams, and here I was staring at two pregnancy sticks, having my own inner implosion.
Needless to say, it was a challenging acceptance of what was now happening. Personally, I felt that way throughout my pregnancy. Every day that my body changed and the knowledge that there was a little being inside of me was a challenge and quite a panic for my system. What was I doing, what was happening?
Time felt like it went fast and slow.
Fast in the sense that the weeks fly by, and there was a very real happening that this being was doubling in size everyday and growing all sorts, like a spine, organs, eyes.. and slow in the sense that the physical and hormonal changes that occur and the tiredness, oh, the flat out tiredness, made it really tough to get through everyday, especially in the first 18 weeks for me.
Side note: Little did I know this dual concept of fast and slow at the same time just continues forever, after they are born. :D
I was prepared for my yoga practice to change, as how everything changes through this time. It is probably one of the most confusing things to deal with that one isn't quite prepared for - the sheer amount of change that happens to everything - not just your body, but your insides, your mind, your thoughts, mindset, relationships with friends and your partner, relationship with all the things you do in life, job, food.. basically everything undergoes a change and this change can feel pretty destabilising for sure.
What's that quote - something about the only sure thing in life is change? There can be a response for some of us to fight and resist the changes that happen, which is a totally natural response of course. And soon it might give way to a slow steady acceptance and learning to work with the constant change. Maybe our relationship with change starts to take a more understanding lean.
My yoga practice which was different in lots of ways and the same in some (comparing pre-pregnancy to in-pregnancy), took a turn to become even more of a 'check-in' time with myself about well, a multitude of things.
How I was feeling that day about all the change, noticing all the change as I moved, processing the feelings of adapting and accepting what is, moving through any resistance towards what was unfolding, and perhaps most importantly for me, trying to connect my feelings with this growing baby inside of me.
I found that I relied more on finding songs to practice to, bringing in lots of different ways of getting in and out of postures, some days doing more, some days doing less, re-defining what a 'yoga practice' meant to me, and it helped in so many ways for me to ride the up and downs of all this change.
Some days it gave me strength, some days it reminded me who I was, some days it made me stop to do less, and every time it allowed me to connect to my ever-changing self. What I found healing (eventually, after initial internal resistance..) was this acceptance of change.
Having yoga through my pregnancy journey helped me heal through finding a big scoop of acceptance. That, and a slow, steady, cultivation of strength that I was going to be able to move with the waves on this journey of motherhood to come.