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Helm of the Heart

We are the ones we've been waiting for

Monthly Archives: November 2013

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The most transformative process I have ever experienced in my life so far has been pregnancy and sharing my body with the little soul that grows within me.

I am now entering the third trimester and I can definitely say that time flies by when you are trying to prepare yourself physically, mentally and emotionally for your child. The first few months were the most challenging thus far due to the constant nausea and the mistakes I made in reading about all of the things that you are NOT supposed to do during pregnancy. Subsequently, I had multiple anxiety attacks over eating a ham sandwich (many people say that you are not supposed to eat lunch meat while pregnant due to the risk of listeria) and also after having fresh spring rolls with raw bean sprouts in them (they apparently house E. coli). Some even claim that you should not eat raw vegetables at all, which seems absurd to me.

Ultimately, I learned that pregnancy is something that everyone seems to have lots of opinions about, but that the very best thing for my baby is to have a happy, relaxed mother. So I stopped stressing over all of the things I shouldn’t do, and with the background knowledge of pregnancy dos and don’ts, and the advice of my doctor, I started making my own informed decisions.

27 weeks

Also, comparing our stress-ridden culture (in which people seem to think that a pregnant woman’s body is everyone’s business and that they have a right to give strangers unsolicited advice, or share their pregnancy/birth horror stories) with the laissez-faire culture of the French, (who basically continue living and enjoying their lives as usual and eat all the soft cheeses that they want) I decided that I needed to strike a balance somewhere in between. And I am so much happier for it.

My yoga practice has also changed considerably since discovering I was pregnant. I had previously practiced hot power yoga, something that did not appeal to my rapidly changing, hormonal self. For the first few months, I felt so exhausted and worn down that I barely practiced at all. I just didn’t feel up to it. Around my the start of my second trimester I began to have a lot more energy and slowly started up my own home practice. I purchased a month-long pass for a mellow yoga studio close to home (non-heated) and got back into a regular yoga practice, although in a much more passive and receptive manner.

mermaid 27 weeks

After my month long pass expired I decided to just practice at home. Currently, I practice for about 40 minutes 4 days a week (some weeks more, some less). This has helped greatly with my lower back pain and some of the other physical changes that have manifested as my body continues to grow and expand. I am still practicing supported headstand because I have been practicing this for years and I know that I am safe to do so, although I imagine I won’t want to invert in a few weeks as the third trimester progresses. Again, I am just listening to my body and to my little one inside of me. I feel so very connected to him and I can tell that he is relaxed when I am practicing yoga and breathing deeply.

27 weeks headstand

I feel so blessed to have yoga, and I respect its healing and nurturing energy now more than ever. I see how it has shaped my relationship with my own body and allowed me to embrace the rapid changes taking place.

♥/☼
Amanda