On the days when Esther Kate and I stay home while the sisters are at school, I can work in a good yoga practice. It’s interrupted by nursing and settling her, and working around when she naps. This is all consistently, inconsistent. So my main goal of each day is literally to get on my mat and stay on it long enough to feel like I accomplished something for my body and mind. If I’m disciplined, it works.
I’m four and half months postpartum now. I still need restorative yoga that keeps me grounded, among all the mental spinning I do coordinating daily life of who goes where, when and has what homework. And I’m doing it all with less sleep, with my fussiest baby yet, who screams every time she rides in the car. That’s a whole other post!
Snuggling her close, closing my eyes and just breathing is the perfect way to replenish my soul before I take on the rest of my gang on a chaotic day. I can do that in Supta Baddha konasana. It’s my favorite pose for pregnancy and postpartum.
“Even though you have four kids you are still a new mom,” a friend reminded me recently. I needed to hear that. Because with every new baby comes with a lot of unsettling and new territory of uncharted experiences.
Fellow yoga teacher and first time mom Jen, wrote about this on her blog. Sharing five poses that have helped her most in her first year of motherhood. The same rings true for me too, even on round four.
Chest openers and releasing my upper spine from babywearing and nursing are a priority when I get on my mat. As well as opening my hip flexors from all the sitting, and staring at baby while “tripping on oxytocin,” as Jen put it. I love that!
Back bending feels great! I’ve been easing back (literally) into these with upward facing dog and bridge pose, supported and not supported. Sometimes just bending backwards is a welcomed break of being hunched over baby.
Moms, it’s wise to educate yourself on Diastasis Recti, the separation of the rectus abdominis muscles. If you still have separation, planks and ab work must be approached cautiously. Listen to your bodies and honor where your body is in the healing process.
Me sharing these poses is about my personal experience. If you are new to yoga, its best to take a class and learn in person with an instructor. Don’t try any strenuous poses until you have made it past the 6 week mark and have been cleared by your midwife or doctor. It was really between three- four months postpartum when I got enough strength back to start challenging myself again.
During my 40 days of yoga, I’ll be working on some arm balancing and strengthening. Because if I’m going to be in the 40-year-old new mom crowd, I want to feel strong. That, and headstands, makes me feel empowered.
The poses are just the beginning of a yoga journey.
That’s why with my 40 days of yoga, I’m also doing the 30 day retreat in Making a Change for the Good, A Guide to Compassionate Self-Discipline.
In addition to meditating everyday, below is my commitment to myself to gain more mindfulness and awareness in my days. They are small, manageable and doable for me right now. I think!
Day 2 assignment was to make a poster of my commitments. As much as I would have loved to get out my glittery pins and glue and scrapbooking paper – that would have taken too much time and made a mess that I would not have been able to clean up for who-knows-how-many-days. So I typed it while babywearing during a brief nap.
My commitment “poster”
I will get on my yoga mat everyday for the 40 days until I turn 40.
I will sit, while nursing Esther Kate once in the morning and once at night, with no distractions, media, interruptions or temptations. It will be my nursing mediation.
I will blog about these experiences, being mindful for it not too take up too much of my time or loose too much sleep. In doing this I will limit my media time to my computer and less on my phone.
I will use my phone less while I nurse Esther Kate, and less when my family is around.
I will be more present and use more eye contact when speaking to my family.
Next post, I’ll share some new awareness I am gaining from just the first few days of this 40 day journey.