Yoga (with a prenatal twist)

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I recently became drawn into trying yoga out, but with a prenatal approach. I’d always been intrigued by the flexibility & impressive muscular toning most Yogis show. But there is a lot more to Yoga than just the physical benefits. For example, the ideal of sending good karma out to the world through various poses & even calmed breathing, is revolutionary to me.  I have always believed in praying in my heart for people, but I’ve never really tried to send good karma out to a person or groups of people.

The neat aspect of the prenatal yoga class is that I feel the beauty of being a mom throughout each class….even at this point in my pregnancy, when I’m at the “chunky not bumpy” stage. We are often invited, in the class, to reach out to our babies in our thoughts & feelings;  it gives me fulfillment & peace to send positive feelings such as hope & joy towards my sweet little one growing within me.

In Yoga, I’ve learned a lot more about body self-awareness; our anatomy is really a fascinating thing. When the instructor tells me to draw my shoulder blades together, or pull my hips toward one another, I am always amazed as I send the command down from my brain & then feel the physical pull or response.  (It’s gradual & not immediate all the time, but still amazing!)  The stretch and flexibility that have come about as a result of just a few weeks of yoga class has truly astounded me. (I am not making a shameless plug for yoga with these comments; just sharing an awareness of what I’ve discovered.) I also love that a colleague of mine recently phrased the pain experienced while holding certain Yoga poses to be thought of as “healing pain” or even an energizing pain.  Although most of us tend to dread pain & what it brings, there is a general implication that “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Phrased that way, a “healing pain,” doesn’t make me as apprehensive of trying new things, even when they seem impossible or uncomfortable. It actually gives me a boost of confidence to try them.

One of the major changes I’ve experienced from practicing yoga, since I’m a pretty loud, outgoing person the majority of the time, is learning to harness my inner “wild child” for at least one hour at a time each week. It has been a process….but one I’ve appreciated.  I even re-learn concepts or traits that I thought I’d mastered before in my life; for example, this week my instructor helped us recognize a sense of gratitude for the opportunity to have finances sufficient to attend a yoga class weekly. To not be on the run, or dealing with major heartache and difficulty at this moment, is truly a blessing. Yoga is helping me have a wider perspective of the world, while gaining more self-understanding simultaneously.

-Katie

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