Feel Better Yoga, Personal, Yoga Philosophy, Yoga Practice

9 months in, 9 months out

findingdrishti-bearshark-9-months

We reached a big milestone this week. Bear Shark turned 9 months old. That’s about the same amount of time he spent in utero as he’s spent in the outside world, plus or minus a few days. They always say to give yourself 9 months after the baby to feel back to normal since pregnancy is 9 months long. Whether I truly believe that isn’t important, but the milestone is mentally marked. Lately, I’ve caught myself checking through my state of being.

Clothing fit

I’m not sure what the obsession is with getting back to pre-pregnancy weight or pre-pregnancy size. I’ve done both, and still my clothes don’t fit. Breastfeeding seemed to pull all the fat and mass from my butt and put it in my knockers. And then my middle is still squishy, so my pants may fit around the waist but they slip and get wonky since there’s less butt to keep them in place.

It’s no better with my yoga clothes either! All my leggings and cropped yoga pants fit funny. Hi, squishy muffin top. Hey, no butt but extra hips. Don’t even get me started on trying to pull yoga tops on. It’s a sad sight.

I’m hoping when my abs come back together and I’m no longer fighting the weird calorie burn of producing milk all day, I’ll see what my post-baby body will really look like. If I’ve learned anything after pregnancy #1, it won’t ever be like it was. BUT, since this is my last baby, I can start figuring out what I have to work with.

Body ability

Speaking of abs, I haven’t done any kind of core work (do I ever do core work?), and my wobbly balance really shows. Standing balances are a hilarious joke.

Sometime between kid #1 and kid #2, my inner thigh became super tight. The internet says it’s my gracilis muscle that runs from my groin down my inner thigh toward the knee. Trikonasana is almost painful if I try to reach further than my shin. Maybe this is just my body getting older. Either way, I don’t like it!

After maternity leave, I really fell off the yoga wagon. I wouldn’t even really count the 30 second Instagram yoga challenges as “doing yoga” either. When I do get on my mat, I feel rusty. All the major spots are tight and achy. I bought the Eoin Finn Happy Hips series of videos, and those are starting to help. All in all, I’m not doing that shabby physically. I’m pretty sure it was all the yoga I did during pregnancy that helped give me a fighting chance AFTER the baby.

Sleep

My FitBit is proof that Bear Shark is starting to sleep better as of last week. (It’s about time!) Life’s cruelest joke is to deprive young parents of sleep and then ask them to deal with crying and tantrums and whining around the clock without hurting anyone. It only took 9 months for him to get the hint that nothing exciting happens between midnight and 6 am. I’m not going to push my luck on asking the kid for more hours than that, but we’re doing pretty well if he can give me that stretch uninterrupted.

I’ve actually listened to some yoga nidra scripts on nights when my brain is racing. I love that I can find almost anything on YouTube. The meditation helps too when I’m getting ready for bed.

Mental state

Ah, this is the trickiest one of all. This is where all the true yoga comes in – the philosophical, inner-focused parts of yoga. All of the things I mentioned above… the way my clothes fit, how my body is holding up, how much sleep I’m getting… are things I’ve been holding on to from the past.

It’s too easy to cherry pick the highlights of yesteryear and try to re-live them. Believe me. I’ve tried. How many times have I thought how much easier life was with just ONE kid? Then, I look at Bear Shark and his happy face, and I know we made the right decision. If 8 years of yoga have taught me anything, it’s to let go of what I can’t control, be present and be grateful for what I have and can do THAT DAY.

I asked my dad once, “Why does life have to be SO HARD?” I was 24 at the time and so naive to what the world was really like. He said something to the effect of, “It wouldn’t be fun if it were always easy.” I’m starting to see his point.

The challenges we face – the physical ones, the mental ones and the emotional ones – they are what keeps life interesting. I mean, I might ask the Universe to keep my sweet Bear Shark happy and easy and pleasant through his toddler and teen years, but I don’t want to press my luck. 9 months of having this awesome little boy be a part of our family puts every day into perspective for me.

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