My Core 

Alright. In the last 20 months I’ve learned a LOT about core rehabilitation and the post-natal body. Mainly because I went through it!  And let me share with you that it was nothing like I thought it would be.

I had high expectations of myself, as a new yoga teacher who had just gotten acquainted with her body on a deeper level than ever before.

I started back to yoga 3 weeks post-partum, most people who found this out were surprised. For me it wasn’t anything at all about ‘getting my body back’. It was about learning about this new body, taking time to slow down, go inside and do a little self-care.

(Part of this learning involved me doing a deep squat too early which left me a little sore.)

And yet, I would see other yoga teachers post-partum and wonder why they weren’t quite as ‘put back together’ as I thought they should be. (Clearly disregarding the non-judgemental tenets of my discipline.)

It has been 20.5 months since I gave birth, and I finally feel like I’m able to call my core home again. I can feel it working well when I stand up and sit down, do the dishes and carry J. This is far from the length of time I imagined it would take, in fact, a year or more longer.

It has dawned on me that this newfound strength came about largely because toddler J’s sleep started to normalize. Actually it was about a month after he started sleeping well and predictably-enough time for my own sleeping rhythms to normalize.

Now, of course this has been a journey. From birth until today. Ups and downs, more sleep and less sleep, patience galore and strength-building the whole way. But I’m here to say that it just simply isn’t realistic for us new moms to be working out like crazy just weeks or months after birth. Even worse is when we force it – we don’t want to be physically active but we push through anyway to meet some unrealistic ideal. I’m a believer in waiting until we’re ready, waiting until our whole bodies are ready. And being honest with our energy levels and willingness to exercise.

So this is a call to you to be true to yourself and listen to your body. There is good reason it is what it is in this very moment, and embracing that is your best option.

Health and peace,

Megan

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2 thoughts on “My Core 

  1. A good reminder again. My yoga teacher, a few weeks ago said that, contrary to the Western mentality of “no pain, no gain”, in yoga we aim to have a relationship with our bodies that does not produce pain. This was a game-changer for me. It doesn’t mean sit around and be lazy – that will cause pain! But it also doesn’t mean, as you said, killing yourself for an unattainable goal. I have really tried to take this to heart over the past month or so as it is such a contrast to the way I was raised where the approach was that if it feels good it is probably bad or wrong and the “right” thing is always what you don’t want to do…

    1. Rose! I am so thankful for your thoughts on this. You put into words what I want to say. I completely agree with what you say here. Your teacher is so wise.

      In my experience it’s a learning to figure out what is actually ‘pain’, like stabbing or tearing tissue, and what is actually, as my teacher calls it, ‘intense healing sensation.’ In yoga there’s a lot of sensation and we are taught to think about it and think about our reactions to these sensations too. Are we reacting emotionally? Or physically only?

      I remain committed to the fact that yoga is for everyone, not just the super flexible and thin ex-dancer. Our bodies don’t fit into the shape, the shape fits our bodies. Wherever we are is beautiful. Whatever we learn is valuable.

      So glad you are into practicing and facing whatever truth comes up each time you hit the mat.

      Love,
      Megan

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