I’ve been incorporated yoga more and more into my days as I get further along with my pregnancy. Yoga along with my heat pad has done wonders in curing my back pains. Of course I can’t do the full extent of each pose as I normally am able – that just comes with having a growing belly! But today I really got to thinking, yoga has positively impacted so many different pieces of my life, so naturally I want to share those pieces with you!
- Pregnancy – Since I started off the post with this one, that makes it the most obvious. I believe that continuing my yoga practice throughout my pregnancy (making modifications and accommodations for myself as I get further along) has really helped with my pain and energy levels. Honestly, I cannot even sleep at night if I don’t go through what I’ve deemed my “Preggo Bedtime Sequence”. It also helps me throughout the day as I experience different “swings”, whether they be mood swings, nausea swings, painful baby movements, etc. There is always a pose that stretches any areas of tension while re-entering my mind away from the negativity that tends to come along with most of these swings.
- Spirituality – What I love about yoga is that it doesn’t conflict with religion and spirituality; it actually acts as a supplement to it. Although I’ve practiced yoga for years as a compliment to my years of dancing and figure skating, it’s really been this past year that I’ve allowed it to come into my life as a spiritual factor. I really never felt completely connected to my religion or spirituality. I’ve always been fascinated by religion in general, not just my own but about all religions. I see truth in almost every religion. I am about to graduate from a Catholic based university (although I’m not Catholic, we are required to take three general Christianity focused courses) and what I found as I took my religion courses is that as fascinated as I was by the information and the stories and beliefs, I couldn’t draw myself to follow the worship practices of anything I learned, even of my own branch of Christianity. With yoga, I feel that I am able to find the inner peace and balance that I am missing from not actively following traditional Christian practices while still being able to live and follow my beliefs. I’ve also found it as an opening to accept nature and the universe as another higher power without conflicting in my Christian beliefs, because personally I see both as co-existing. As I mentioned, I see truth in almost all religions and spiritual belief systems, so this is huge for me to be able to find a way to connect different beliefs that I agree with without forcing myself to “choose”. I honestly feel because of yoga’s ability to be my practice of finding peace, that I can identify with pieces of more than one religion – and I absolutely love that.
- My Career- Aligning with the bit on spirituality, I’ve learned so much about myself this past year. Yoga has taught me that what I need for peace, balance and happiness is already within me. I don’t need to slave for someone else to earn a living to be able to pay for things that society says that I need. Am I really even happy with the things society says I need? Definitely not everything. My practice has actually guided me to begin incorporating minimalism into my life, which I am still at the beginning of. It’s taught me that my “golden” corporate job is actually the polar opposite of what makes me happy. I used to love that I could make people’s jaws drop at the fact that at my age I’m in a position with a company that most people 10 years older than me drool over. But that’s just it – I used to love to prove what I did was entirely possible with a lot of work and persistence, but I’m not even close to being passionate about what my job or my company stands for. My practice has taught me that I have the persistence and the drive I need to be successful, I just now need to focus that on something I love rather than what society deems as valuable.
- Self Discovery- When I was young I used to love working on my flexibility because I was amazed at how far the body would allow you to push it and work at it. I loved being physically active for the same reason – because the progress doesn’t ever end. The body is absolutely amazing. I went through a rut where I stopped paying attention to what I was eating, I didn’t really do anything active and I spent a lot of my time trying to follow popular TV shows and websites that people were buzzing about. Basically, I stopped being me because the people I was around the most weren’t like me, so I tried to be like them. Getting back into yoga consistently and increasingly helped me realize that I missed working out and I missed working on my flexibility. I missed how good I felt from eating good. I didn’t even like the shows I was trying to get into and I just wanted to craft and paint and read. I found the more yoga I did, the more I got back into the things I loved to do, and the more I did the things I love, the more I found time for my yoga practice and the more balanced I became just in general.
- My Relationship- Since becoming pregnant, I’ve actually been teaching my boyfriend some of the different sequences I go through regularly. Sometimes we do yoga before bed together, and if he has pain or tension, I will show him different poses he can hold and I help him with his breathing to relieve the pains and tensions. I think this is a really intimate part of our relationship because we are both so vulnerable to each other when we are helping each other into our different poses and helping each other keep our breathing in sync with our movements. It’s something that makes us feel so together and also so balanced individually.
What parts of your life has yoga touched? Or if you don’t currently practice, what are some problem areas that may inspire you to begin?
Free Spirit Babe