Yesterday I took my first yoga class since the birth of my little boy and it was quite the challenge. I was anxious prior to class, it was only the second time I would be away from my 2 month old for more than 30 minutes. I knew my husband would take great care of him, but I still felt guilty for leaving him. Once I got to the studio I felt at ease, comfortable and home. We started our sun salutations and I found my breath, my familiar place. As we moved through moon salutations, I realized things were very different within my body. Having not practiced with this intensity and speed in many months, I expected to work to keep up. What I hadn’t anticipated was how difficult it was to balance. We hadn’t even made it to the balance postures yet and I was already using all my focus to avoid toppling over in low lunge. As we progressed through warrior poses I noticed that things were significantly more difficult on my left side.
I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit since I left the studio and I have to admit, it makes a lot of sense to me. The left side of our body is equated to feminine energy, which I have been expending more than ever. The first 2 months caring for my new son were dizzying. Adjusting to fully giving my love and attention to this new little being was something I couldn’t prepare for or understand until it happened. Add to that the lack of sleep from waking every hour or two to breastfeed; it’s no wonder things were off center. I’d poured every ounce of my energy into mothering and had left nothing to care for myself.
Taking class was a wonderful way to come to this realization and at the same time take a step towards finding that balance. I’m always amazed at how our physical practice can peel away layers to show what is going on deep down emotionally. I wasn’t expecting an emotional revelation, I was just hoping to get back to a normal activity, but my practice decided to show me more. Now more than ever I understand how important my time on the mat is. I was reminded that I’ve got to take care of myself so that I can take care of my family. Now I just have to find the balance of this with my new role as a mom.