I became a mum to a beautiful baby boy we named Oliver in August 2013, it was one of the most memorable days of my life. I practiced and taught yoga throughout my pregnancy. I particularly focussed on asana’s (movements) that enhanced my growing baby and pranayama (breathing exercises) which helped me connect emotionally and spiritually with Ollie as he grew, and helped me prepare physically and emotionally for labour. I spent a lot of time in my private studio practicing and teaching that to this day Ollie feels very happy and calm in this room.
My yoga influenced me so much that I taught a class (and even demonstrated a rather pregnant style headstand!) prior to my water’s breaking and early labour the next morning. Ollie was certainly in a hurry at a month early- but he was strong and healthy. Yoga carried me through the birth and the next 8 days when Ollie had to be in special care as he was a bit too small to feed totally by himself. Those days I lived by his bedside and felt like a milking cow until finally after 4-5 days he could feed from my breast. Oh what joy- but I knew he would be ok- we were so connected. My challenge and barrier was the clinical nature and routine of the hospital, when I just wanted to be at home with my family. Again yoga helped me through that and beyond. I knew that this was a journey that I needed to be on so I used meditation, plus super gentle asana as my body required from sitting in a chair for many hours in a day.
When Ollie came home, I again used Yoga to help me be the best mum I could. When Ollie was asleep, I would practice. As he got older, I involved him in my practice. Ollie loved it- time with his mum and we moved in ways where we both felt joy. Here are a couple of video’s of a couple of different stages (non mobile and mobile) that show how I practiced at that time.
Ollie’s first 12 months was a beautiful journey, yoga helped and continues to help me during each stage. I know I need to nourish myself as it is important I keep healthy, happy and sane(!) in order to continue to breastfeed and to be a good mum to Ollie. I try to practice as much as I can and modify it to fit in with our needs.
As Ollie gets older and more mobile, it is often easier to practice alone, so I try to use sleep times or hubby’s home time to practice or if I simply can’t, Ollie and I have a bit of fun together. Just as eating, sleeping and being a mum is an essential part of my life, so is yoga. Namaste.