I’ve had a regular yoga practice for over 12 years and since completing my yoga my teacher training two years ago, a strong daily practice. Something just doesn’t feel right when I don’t practice yoga in the morning, it’s kind of like not brushing your teeth!
A little under 2 years ago my life and practice were derailed. I couldn’t practice. I’ve spoken of it lots, a lump, cancer, operatic problems, followed by treatment. This meant my body couldn’t do what it was used to doing. At first I tried to fight it; I tried to push my body to do things that it just wasn’t ready to do. After some time, contemplation and reading of the yogic texts, I listened to my body and started form where I was. I stripped right back and modified. I went from a strong vinyasa practice to pranayama, meditation and yin style yoga.
My body, muscles and mind responded well and before long I was strong again… Indulging in sweaty vinyasa and strong Iyengar classes.
3 months ago my practice derailed again. This time for a happier reason… I’m now 4 months pregnant. What struck me first of all was excitement, joy, all of the things you would hope to feel but then the green-ness set in. Never in my life have I felt so ill and quite frankly that is saying something! I’ve heard of morning sickness, I have sisters and friends with babies but no one had prepared me for how I bad I felt! I liken it to having the flu topped with drinking a bottle of whiskey the night before. Forget morning, it lasted all day! Having spoken with my consultants they explained that I would have a particular bad case due to the suppression of my hormones relating to my thyroid cancer.
Needless to say I couldn’t practice like I could… Initially I felt a sense of panic and loss.. I wouldn’t be able to attend my strong, soulful classes, I wouldn’t be able to practice my sequences, no head stands, forearm stands, deep back bending or twists for months.
Soon I realised that even if I wanted to, I felt so ill, I couldn’t practice once again.
It’s a strange feeling in the first trimester as you don’t really feel like there is a soul inside but you still feel a huge sense of responsibility towards whatever it is.
Again, rather than learning from the past I tried to push on, practicing at home, planning and practicing advanced sequences for my students.
Thankfully I tuned into my body, let go and surrendered. After all time being pregnant is so short, magical and transitional. In the big scheme of life, it lasts for no time at all.
The late great Iyengar spoke of this often, we can’t expect to practice the same asana when we are 90 as when we are 20 so we adapt, we use the practice to serve us to support us.
It’s easy to forget why we practice yoga and it’s so important to remember That it is more than just a physical process. Yoga is a holistic science, connecting the body mind and spirit. It’s the modification of one’s self awareness and relationship to the world, ourselves and our loved ones . Namaste