27 Jun Strength & courage in pregnancy & yoga
As I carefully place my strong vinyasa practice on the high shelf of my imagination to gather welcome dust over the next few months. I begin to re-think my thoughts on strength and courage within a yoga practice.
Overtime as I have grown physically stronger through my asana practice, my body has learnt how to transition through arm balances to headstands to handstands. I loved the challenge of finding strength in places where only softness existed. Never scared of landing on my face, instead I accepted that at times falling was part of the practice that I loved so much.
But as I entered my fourth pregnancy full of apprehension and worry, I promised myself that I’d stop the inversions, the backbends and the daily core workout. I stopped it all. Movement became gentle or non-existent and gradually my body has become soft once again. But I know I still have the magic key of strength and courage and that I can tap into it at anytime, should I wish to find the physical strength to handstand and drop back once again.
The key – just show up, in spite of yourself!
During this pregnancy, it was tempting to brace myself for loss. To avoid or postpone the attachment just in case it wasn’t meant to last. But it would have been a futile attempt to stop my heart from shattering once again. Instead I’ve fallen in love and within that love I’ve found both strength and courage that is enabling me to completely show up. Not waiting for the day she’s born to become her mum I’m already there 100%. I have no idea how long she’ll be in my life or how long I’ll be in hers but we’re here in each other’s lives right now.
“In the flush of love’s light, we dare to be brave. And suddenly we see that love costs all we are and will ever be. Yet it is only love which sets us free.” Maya Angelou
If you’ve truly fallen in love with your practice you’ll show up 100% to your body on a daily basis. Love isn’t just the good stuff, at times it’s hard work and painful. But using the strength and courage that love provides it will move you through whatever challenges come your way and every now and again you’ll find true ecstasy and happiness.
My top three tips for showing up to your practice: –
1. Work to your edges both soft and strong.
Love in your practice can be found by squishing your face up close to the glass of your maximum edge, combining it with the complete surrender to the softness of total body relaxation.
2. Do something everyday
Practice every day, with patience! Explore both the strong and the soft, keep it fun and always finish on a high note. Don’t think about how far you’ve got to go, appreciate where you are right now and take time to hang in the moment, you won’t be there for long.
3. Adopt the mantra – anything is possible.
Just keep showing up to your mat and your practice. On the days when it feels like it’s all falling apart, when nothing is working out and you feel like throwing a tantrum, allow it! Then remind yourself that anything is possible and bring yourself back the next day.
Big yoga love R x