I wish I could say I was prepared to become a parent, of course like many of us, I thought I was. I had read the books, prepared the nursery, done prenatal yoga. I knew there were going to be surprises, but overall I was set. (I can hear every one of you who already is a parent laugh at that comment). And then, a few years ago on that sunny Friday afternoon in September that baby boy arrived, and my world was rocked, twisted and shaken, in the best (and honestly some not so great) ways. My husband who had perhaps a little less practical knowledge than I, at least had the common sense to know we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.
I had practiced prenatal yoga during my pregnancy. While I had been practicing yoga for years, I was surprised by the benefits of prenatal yoga for my vastly changing body. The yoga designed for pregnant bodies relieved my backache and sciatica, it helped balance my ever changing hormones and for me, the movements helped keep my ever swelling feet manageable. Prenatal yoga classes are also designed to help the pregnant woman develop tools to assist through the process of labour and delivery. But, in an ironic twist of fate, I the yoga instructor, ended up having a caesarean section.
*Ahhh…this poor girl didn’t know what was about to hit her…
That prenatal baby boy was teaching me one of my first real parenting lessons…despite all of your prepping and planning, these tiny babies are in charge. Sincerely, bless them, but they take over your body (and your mind) and then they take over your life. While I would never diminish the benefits prenatal yoga gave me during pregnancy, it was during those first few months (or years) of parenting that I realized how much prenatal yoga had given me.
When I teach prenatal yoga, one pose I try to include in every class is Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II).
This yoga pose has an amazing amount of benefits, for everyone really, but especially pregnant women. Warrior II builds strength in your legs and arms, opens your hips, increases stamina (important one because those babies are heavy, both in the belly and out). It also stimulates your abdominal organs (those crazy pregnancy hormones wreak havoc on your digestive system) and relieves backache. My favourite though, it’s a confidence building pose, and honestly, as a new Mom I needed confidence. As a not so new Mom, I still do. And it’s a great life lesson, in Warrior II you are acknowledging the past and the future, but you are centered and strong in the present moment. That feeling of being overwhelmed often happens when we (read me) are not in the present moment. When I am missing the past, (sleep), or overthinking the future, (wait this is my responsibility for, like, ever).
Prenatal yoga, like all great yoga, is a practice. And for me, it was good to practice lots, before they placed that beautiful baby boy in my arms. Because really parenting is pretty yogic, with lots of challenges, crazy twists and sometimes, you have to stand on your head. And the rewards, big and small, are awesome.
*18 years, 365 days a year, 24 hours in a day…wait how many minutes until bedtime?
*honestly, sometimes, exactly how it feels…
Follow Cara-Lynne at Yoga Beyond Words.
Cara-Lynne Auld also teaches Prenatal Yoga at Beyond Yoga Studio & Wellness Centre. Check out the program schedule