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,