“Still, like air, I rise.” ~Maya Angelou
I had this vision when I was pregnant of practicing yoga with my infant baby laying next to me joyfully kicking around, maybe stopping to breastfeed then going right back to my practice.
Well, that didn’t happen. I’m 4 months postpartum and just now starting my yoga practice back up. I ended up with two bouts of mastitis and one breast abscess that needed to be surgically drained (accompanied by a 5-day hospital stay). On top of that I had a wound-vac attached to my breast for 7 weeks after surgery making yoga not only hard to accommodate around the tube coming out of my boob, but also painful.
I was stiff. Still am. I could feel it in my knees, thighs, hamstrings, and back how much I needed my practice back. But my body needed time to heal more than I needed to force myself back into yoga before by body was ready. And besides, the only way to take care of a newborn at home was to take care of myself first. I rested as much as I possibly could while caring for my newborn baby; officially putting yoga on pause until further notice.
I feel more stiff than I did when I first started yoga. But I guess it makes sense given what all my body has been through in the last year. I’m choosing to love myself and my new post-baby bod. I’m choosing to remember that my body doesn’t have to be “hard” to give love to my baby, in fact, he probably enjoys the squishy-ness.
My yoga practice is slow, thoughtful, and full of love for myself and what my body has done for me and my family. My boobs are two different sizes and one has a round red scar where I had an abscess; but they continue to fuel my baby with nutrition, love, and comfort all the same. Yoga is often interrupted by a crying baby in need of nursing or a cuddle and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Some days yoga doesn’t happen. I am reminded of this when my stiff body is climbing into bed at the end of the day. It’s going to be a long road back to where I used to be in my practice but for now I’m okay with trading 90 minutes of yoga for sweet baby cuddles and a down-dog here and there.
~ Mama Lindsey