Yoga for 2: Prenatal and Postnatal Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 5

We're Pregnant

20 min - Conversation
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Eden, Uschi, and Kristen share their thoughts about being pregnant, and how the practices of yoga have helped them during the immense and wonderful changes in their bodies.
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Nov 06, 2014
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(water rushing over sand) My name's Eden and I'm 28 weeks pregnant, so just entered my third trimester. Hi, my name is Uschi and I am 35 weeks pregnant, so I'm almost there. Final stretch. (laughing) And I'm Kristen and I just passed halfway, so I'm at 22 weeks. And Uschi and I are, Uschi's kind of from India, kind of from Ojai, kind of from the world.

How would you explain where you're from? Well, I live most of the year in India but I've come back to give birth to my baby here in the US and I'm so happy to be here, and after my baby's born, a couple months after, I'll go back to India and start life as a mom who is a citizen of the world with a son. (laughing) And Eden and I are both in Ojai. Yeah, loving it. (laughing) With yoga, this is my second pregnancy.

So I did it from way, way, way before but the second pregnancy I've discovered prenatal yoga and it was such a gift and I'm really grateful for it. So I just after that stuck with it and it's transformed and been different at different phases of my life for sure but now back to the prenatal part of it. Yeah, and I was doing yoga for about a year before this occurred and now I'm finding out what yoga looks like when everything is moving around and not in the same place it was and all of that excitingness. And I was practicing yoga mostly on my own. I used to teach yoga but I've been practicing really I guess, for the last 12 years but living in India I do mostly my own practice and take classes when I come back to the US with my friends (laughs).

For the first few months of my pregnancy it was really hard for me to move, because I was really nauseous and I just had a really hard time even conceiving of doing yoga because I had such bad headaches and nausea but once I got into my second trimester I was really happy to be able to do my own practice again and like to listen to music and dance and just really listen to what my body wanted to do which was not too dissimilar from what I'd done before, just a lot more centered and grounded. I was gonna ask how did it change, because I'm just starting to see my practice change by necessity and by what feels correct. I mean how did you guys feel that change occur? I mean, I definitely felt that yoga, it's always taught me to really listen to my body and really tune in and give me that grounding but it's been more of like, an external vigorous experience before I got pregnant for many years and then getting pregnant, like you were saying, she's kind of helped me drop in a little bit deeper into its real purpose for me, which is just connecting to life. And, to the breath.

So I'd say it's kind of calmed down a little. (laughing) A little bit more grounded. It's always been a source of a foundation for grounding but definitely in pregnancy even more so. I'm just kind of moving more like a naturally cyclical movements I'd say, bringing that in. How about for you?

Well, I used to have a really strong yoga practice. And in the last couple years, my practice has become a lot more about deep listening and meditation. But it was exciting when I got into my second trimester to feel like I kind of wanted to move again and do some of the movements that I had done in the past 'cause I had energy again. But from a very grounded place of listening and intuition. 'Cause I think when you're pregnant I think it's almost easier to access that place because you're cultivating this being inside of you so I feel like the practice, it brings you back to that place of listening.

So whatever you do if it's a meditation or if it's some movements or even if you need to remind yourself of your strength and build that stamina it's just coming back to that place of centering and knowing that you're capable of doing it. (laughing) I think too, just building off what you're saying just really trusting the innate wisdom of the body because when you're pregnant, the body's just doing it for you in a lot of ways. (laughing) And so it's brought me back even more deeply to that. I understand. It's completely and totally what my experience has been.

I didn't know I was pregnant until I was two months in and I kind of have this attitude now of well, she took care of it, she keeps taking care of it, so I'm sure it'll be fine. Yeah. Living in India, one of the things I was really grateful that I didn't encounter a lot is because there, women are very much tuned in to what that the body is doing exactly what it should be because this is a natural process, so there wasn't a lot of outside feedback constantly because people are all so very private about it and they don't share it all the time and so that was something that I felt like an advantage to not living in the west, was that I got to really, just get clear about my listening to what my needs were, and to not constantly have this outside input about what I should do, what I shouldn't do, this and that. And just to really listen to the wisdom of the women that were around me that have had many children, and do it in conditions that we can't even imagine. (laughing) But just like that, coming back to that listening place is like, we need the yoga so much here.

We need it so much to stop listening to all that other stuff and just to listen to yourself. So I mean, my experience, I'm still kind of early in the stages of uncovering everything that's occurring and when I was at 15 weeks, I was actually in a yoga class, and that was the first time I felt the baby move because I went to go balance on my stomach and the baby was like, I am not a bolster. So that was just the most bizarre, fascinating experience. And what I learned in those next couple weeks is really, it was in meditation or in a very deep place in yoga classes was the only time that I was able to sense the baby that early. And that was kind of an amazing thing to be like, no really take the time to quiet down and connect in, and now you know of course he's much more vocal about his presence but that was just such an interesting, neat, kind of first experience to have that occur in a class with people I loved and really know that I was mentally in my body in that moment and able to hear him you know?

Yeah, exactly. I'd say that every day life it keeps going and it's fast, and fast-paced and yoga, you can slow down and just tune in and just be with your presence and the presence of the baby. At least that's how it's been for me. And I think also just in that space setting the intention to connect with the baby and you know when you're kind of running around, and you know, I'm taking care of a toddler and other things and so it's just creating that space for myself and for the baby to listen to each other. And I'll take some time before I go to bed or in the morning when I wake up to do that.

But the yoga actually allows me to really drop into it a little deeper so I think that's basically like you were saying, just slowing down and listening. Yeah, for me the listening was, most of my pregnancy I've spent in India and so we have a daily ritual that we do every morning which is to light a candle at your altar or to light incense and perform a Puja in the morning. I knew that I was pregnant right away and I didn't even need to take a test and then I almost immediately started to hear the baby's heartbeat in my ears. Oh, that's awesome. And it was in unison with my heartbeat.

I mean I couldn't differentiate between the two. So it was just this real sense of that my prayers were not just mine anymore. That I was praying for both of us. I guess that the ritual and the practice and the meditation is more, and that staying centered in my life in India that's become really my yoga. So that was just like, really that you're not alone anymore you're doing this together so how you do it together to the best of your ability is you new practice.

I love coming back to the west and being here and going to class because it's just so luxurious. It's so great to be able to drop in with a group of other people and just kind of be in that space together because I mean, I think even if you live in a really big city, a lot of your daily practice is to walk around and to be like I'm heading to work, and you're in this little bubble and so my life there is to really keep this bubble around me and my child as I move. So here in California, you get to cultivate your bubble in a group with other people, and then you get to be in this beautiful scenery and it's so relaxing. So it's like a treat. Yeah, it is a treat.

I think that I'm most afraid of the potential isolation that can come with motherhood. And kind of finding myself alone in a house with a small child that has no one but me to protect it. So yeah, I think there's a little bit of the fear of being alone, being forgotten by those who are in my life now, friends who don't have children. But what am I most excited about? I am super fascinated, can't even begin to fathom the emotional opening that I think will come with having a child who is a tiny thing that only has me to protect.

And so yeah, just meeting myself in those really unexpected moments that I never would have encountered otherwise except through motherhood. The fear. I have a fear of kind of getting out of balance. Where it's just like everything can be focused on my son now and the baby, and that is kind of how it is in the beginning because that's just the way nature designed it to be. But just, you know, now that my son, I wasn't expecting to get pregnant the second time and it was just a wonderful surprise.

And I just was entering into this phase of oh okay, I can kind of get back on my own pace of life and get a little more sleep and get back into my other creative endeavors and then boom. (laughing) I was the same way. I was like no, I didn't believe it. No, and my partner was like yeah, I can tell by the way you're acting. (laughing) He's like I've been there, I've seen it.

You're pregnant. (laughing) But at the same time, I was telling you guys earlier I just brought my son to preschool yesterday for his first day. There's been a million moments but it was just like this, the most precious, beautiful moment, just to see him, just walk into his space. You know just the curiosity and the wonder, and the joy, and even the fear that comes up for him. It's just so amazing to be present for that.

I had no idea how life enriching it would be. As much as it is challenging, it makes me wanna cry (laughs) when I think about it. So just seeing things through his eyes, and this one too and I'm really excited about seeing how their relationship is gonna develop. It is very exciting to create this life and they're their own soul. It's just so fun to watch it grow and develop.

And that's it. (laughing) Well, I sort of feel that my greatest fear is also my greatest joy because I'm most afraid of how life is going to work and function with this new person in it and how am I gonna manage it all in those moments of overwhelm or tiredness or whatever? And I feel like a big thing that I'm going to have to work really hard on is asking for help. Yeah, and do. That's my advice.

(laughing) If you have someone, people that can help just draw in that. Yeah, but I'm also so excited to be in life with this new person who is a product of my love, and who's his own being. And I'm excited to meet him. So I just can't wait to see what he's like and all of the things that come through him. Well, I think that the most important part of doing a practice at home and creating that space is just to really build your confidence and your centeredness so that you have that center to return to, because when you go into labor you're gonna need that imprint of that center.

So to practice it throughout your pregnancy it's so important to be able to come back to that place when you go into contractions or when you're feeling sick. Whatever you're experiencing along the way. And then when you have a little one, to come back to that place of (inhales deeply), I can exhale, I can find space here. Because the yoga is so much about expanding your capacity and motherhood is about expanding your capacity. So the two, they really go hand in hand.

So the more that you can create that container for yourself with the yoga to remember okay, I can do these lunges, or I can do pigeon pose, or I can sit here in meditation and find my center. It's so important. Or I can't do those lunges. And I can't do that pigeon pose and I'm gonna be okay with he fact that I'm just going to opt out of that in this moment. Because it's just not correct.

That's the frustrating slash interesting part of being in a class and that kind of thing is just shoot, this doesn't work the way it used to and really being in a space where you're okay not pushing through it, to have to be the way it used to be. So there is something to be said about being able to be at home you know, not feeling the pressure of everyone else being around you thinking why is she in child's pose right now? 'Cause I'm pregnant, that's why. I mean it's one of those moments. So being able to just kind of, okay really this is my, being honest with yourself at what your pace and what's good for your body in that moment is is sometimes just easier when you have your own practice.

It's so much easier to find your voice when you are connected to your practice too. And I think your voice is something you really need going into labor, for sure. (laughing) You know, is this true? You've been through it. I had a 36 hour labor, so.

And all I can say is movement, movement, movement. It's really just in a place where you can move through it. Things are gonna happen that you don't expect. Or maybe not, maybe it just goes exactly how you envision. But just having a space where you can be like, if you need to create less people or more or whatever.

But just moving, and getting that energy, and sense of opening, and tuning into your own intuition. Because it will tell you. No matter what, in the hospital or wherever people plan on having their baby there's different pressures that can take you out of your body and so having a yoga practice, for me, was and is really helpful to know how to go in and access that space. And just to kind of, and unfortunately what I had to do is kind of close out the external world. And I think, the other thing about having a yoga practice at home is after child or children come, it's just a reminder that you still have to take time to take care of yourself.

It's so important to be able to take care of somebody else in a loving and fulfilling way. So having that practice at home just is a reminder. Even if it's 15 minutes or something, okay, I exist here and I need some time for self care. And we don't always have time to go drive to a class, or whatever to get to a class and spend more money or whatever, but having that space at home to just yeah, take time for self-care, self-love.

Comments

so beautiful to listen to your heart filled stories, thank you for sharing LOVE xx
1 person likes this.
Thank you! Its such a special time, I'm so grateful we were able to connect and share our stories with you, others and with each other
This was so sweet, funny & amazing to watch now that all of out little ones are here! Just watched it with my now 6 month old in my arms. So much vulnerabily & sweet wisdom here. Thank you yoga anytime for capturing this!
1 person likes this.
enjoying this series during my pregnancy! Thank you so much
Oh yay! Thank you Briana. I just love hearing that & love that you’re taking time for you & your practice during this magical time! ✨👏

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