Post pregnancy exercise – there's an oxymoron for ya. I never thought I'd say that because after all, I am a yoga instructor. I've practiced yoga for over ten years but these days my practice is anywhere but a yoga studio.
Since yoga is a mental practice with physical benefits, I don't chide myself for not getting a 'traditional' workout. If I'm present while changing the baby's diaper, or I take just a few moments to bring my awareness to my breath while I draw air deep into my belly, I've practiced yoga. However, there was a time that I taught fifteen classes a week and my core was strong enough to do a headstand or arm balance with ease. These days, the closest I come to the studio are the yoga pants I wore when I used to teach. My yoga tank tops have been replaced with nursing tank tops because easy nursing access rules all clothing choices. It doesn't hurt that I was given a couple of Bravado nursing tanks for being one of their bloggers!
Now, it's a treat when I get to go to an actual yoga class at an actual yoga studio! The few times I've been able to go have been courtesy of my mom being in town to babysit or the rare occasion that my husband is home and I can steal away for a class. Walking into the humid room with chill yoga music playing and finding a place to unroll my mat so I can sit in peace is a luxury. Getting to spend the next hour focused on my breath and finding quiet strength is the icing on the cake.
I spend most of my days bent over a baby who is learning to balance on her own feet, taking her first unsteady steps. In that moment, my entire being is with her. I am at once encouraging, cautious, joyful and melancholy at these milestones that are being reached with lightning speed. I may not be sweating it out in a studio while balancing on my forearms but I am indeed practicing yoga. One day, I'll find my abs again and I may even get back to teaching, but for now my exercise routine consists of lifting my laughing baby above my head and squatting down low to see the world through her eyes.