Each of us has a fire in our hearts for something. It’s our goal in life to find it and to keep it lit. -Mary Lou Retton
If you read my last post Take Care of Yourself you know that I have made a commitment to, as the title suggests, taking better care of myself. I’ve gotten off to an okay start. I’m not exactly cooking veggie filled gourmet meals every day, but I’m getting better. The biggest thing I’d say I’ve done is taking time out for myself and returning to the things I loved to do before my daughter was born. Specifically yoga & meditation.
Before I got pregnant I had a wonderful job at a yoga studio, which led me to attend and complete an even more wonderful Yoga Teacher Training (YTT). I taught for a few months before I found out I was pregnant and plans changed.
I didn’t technically need to work. Plus we were moving and getting ready for our first baby, so I stopped teaching. Honestly, with the exhaustion that pregnancy brings I stopped practicing yoga as well. I would randomly throw my mat down and knock out a practice or two each month but throughout my pregnancy I only attended one prenatal class in a studio. I have no idea why, but I just wasn’t motivated to practice yoga.
I did meditate and pray though, every night. My meditation practice helped nurture an amazing connection between my unborn Gigi girl and me. A connection I am convinced allowed me to have an incredible birth experience. So while my physical practice fell by the wayside, my mental practice was very present in my day-to-day life.
And then I had my baby.
Now I am not the first person to blog about how much your life changes after you have a baby. So I know I’m not blowing any minds here, but boy did my life change after I had a baby! Obviously my life changed for the better, but having a consistent yoga and meditation practice was the farthest thing from my mind.
For the first few weeks (okay probably months) when it came to taking care of myself all I worried about was sleeping, showering and eating. I still used a few meditation techniques at night to calm my anxieties, but I wasn’t practicing consistently every day.
To be clear, I don’t think I should have tried to do yoga and mediate every day with a new baby, nor should anyone else. There just comes a time when you are about 6 or 8 months in to parenthood when you realize you are not doing any of the things you used to do to keep yourself sane. It’s around the same time you realize the whole new baby excuse starts working less and less as your baby gets older, darn.
On top of the fact that I was no longer in the habit of practicing yoga and mediation, I suddenly had all this new ‘stuff’ I had to deal with. Body issues, not being as “good” at certain poses as I used to be, the guilt that moms seem to put on themselves when they are taking time to be alone, etc. Reading that last sentence over I can see that this is a time in my life when I need yoga and mediation more than ever!
I’ve been practicing yoga at home; one of the many perks of having been through an YTT. In a way I think I have been subconsciously building myself up to actually go to a class in a yoga studio. So this week, I did! My friend recommended a great studio near by and I finally returned to the mat, in a class. Said friend also wanted me to attend a Level 2 class with her. I told her it would take me a few classes to boost my confidence before I do that, my goal is to join her in a couple weeks.
Getting back to a class was so refreshing. Listening to and learning from a teacher, hearing someone else’s voice inside my head besides my own, it felt absolutely wonderful. This is going to make me sound a little crazy, but even the smells and the sounds of being in a studio made me feel happy. I’d never thought hearing bare feet walk across a hardwood floor would have such an effect on me, but it did. It really really did.
When we remember what sets our soul on fire we connect back to our true selves.
So I challenge you reader, yes you! Try to remember what used to bring you joy. Think of an old healthy habit you used to have that has fallen by the wayside. Rekindle that old flame. Return to what makes you, YOU. The outside word will continue to change, but your true self will always remain the same.