For many years I had a consistent, daily yoga and meditation practice. But right after my baby was born, a new yoga practice was born alongside her. Instead of sitting cross legged on a comfortable cushion, silently repeating my mantra while trying to meditate (but in truth thinking of cheeseburgers), I actually now found myself living completely in the present. Sitting still on the zafu was replaced by bouncing vigorously on an exercise ball. Silence was replaced by the piercing cries of my fussy newborn. Instead of a secret mantra, I found myself intoning: “Shhhhh. Its okay, Mamma’s here” over and over. It was truly difficult to think of anything else as all my senses locked down on this new being and I realized that this single mindedness is true meditation.
Meanwhile, I couldn’t seem to find a chunk of time to get on the mat for my yoga practice. However, I did find myself striking various poses throughout the day.
New moms, have no fear. You may not have time to run to your local studio for your daily dose of contortionist yoga poses, but just by shifting your perspective you may find yourself doing yoga more often than you think.
1. Warrior 24/7
Using your thigh muscles to bounce on an exercise ball while using biceps and triceps to hold baby in the arms. Use this to help baby breastfeed, relieve pressure from gas, to help baby relax, help baby sleep at night and nap during day.
2. Ravenous Facing Dog
Standing at your refrigerator at three in the morning, use your arms to pull anything edible from shelves and shove in your mouth. Breastfeeding makes you feel ravenous so do this quickly before your partner returns with a screaming baby to demand your udders.
Your new relationship with your partner and baby becomes a love triangle. You kiss the baby and offer her your breast as your partner gets jealous and wants kisses and access to breasts which currently remain off limits.
As you round your shoulders to offer your udders to feed your baby, you screech like a frightened cat when she inserts her piranha fangs into your worn, tender nipples.
5. Half Moon Pose
When your baby wakes for a middle of the night feeding, you pull her into bed with you as you lie curled up on your side. Offering her your breast, you immediately fall asleep while your little one nibbles on you like a mouse eating Swiss cheese.
6. Goddess Pose
After feeding, burping and changing your baby and subsequently managing to shower, cook yourself breakfast and walk your dog without having a meltdown- you smile at yourself in the mirror.
7. Falling Tree Pose
While standing in your living room talking to your mother-in-law, who is happily holding your baby, you suddenly collapse from fatigue onto the couch. Hopefully someone is around to yell timber.
8. Corpse Pose
You sleep like the dead for the hour you have between breastfeeding.
9. Lion Pose
Use your paw to swat away any smiling stranger who thinks your sweet newborn is cute and tries to touch your baby without washing his/her hands.
10. Child’s Pose
Curl yourself into a ball and hide under the covers crying as you realize that you are now the grownup caring for a baby and you are no longer the child.