'Twas the night before my due date, and all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse..... Well, not exactly, I feel the "creature" stirring inside my belly! But otherwise, it's pretty calm and quiet around here. Hubby's on the couch writing his last big paper for school. Dog is by my side for yet another nap. The hum of the washer can be heard in the background. Yep, it's pretty quiet around here today.......... Is this the calm before the storm???
This morning I woke up feeling a new inspiration for yoga. This spring marks 20 years that I've been on this twisting, turning yogic path, full of many pauses, detours, and re-routing along the way. I never would have guessed at the beginning where my yoga would lead me...... and what a blessing it's been for all of the surprises: healing, learning, questioning, settling, teaching, sharing, connecting, and filling me with so much life.
My yoga over the last 9 months has been mostly an inward journey. As my practice on the mat shifted and evolved, I was given the opportunity to explore in a new way. The last trimester of my pregnancy brought me the "gift" of pregnancy related carpal tunnel due to all the swelling in my hands. It's been humbling to say the least. I've moved through waves of denial, frustration, determination to find a solution, and ultimately lots of surrender. All the doctors, midwives, moms and google say the same thing- "It's normal, and it will go away after the baby is born." Honestly, I'm not used to NOT feeling at my best in my body. Dealing with this chronic, yet temporary issue has been super challenging. I've avoided handwriting, typing and especially texting (Siri is my new best friend) as much as possible. Even holding a book to read has been out of the question. But I know in many ways it's been a great lesson, and preparation for all the unknown and challenges to come. So when I woke up today and felt the inspiration to write, I knew things were already shifting. I felt something deep inside telling me that this time is coming to an end, and I'm at the eve of a new beginning.
I've been thinking and saying for months "This is the real yoga." Before, my asana practice was so much a part of my life, part of getting through the day. It was also such a source of energy and inspiration, and I hadn't imagined what my life would feel like without it. But growing a baby in my body has taught me so much about tuning in, listening, slowing down, responding to my needs, making adjustments, letting go, and knowing that everything is temporary. As soon as I think I have something figured out, things change. Rationally I knew all this before. But there's a security to having a routine, a false sense of security that things will continue in a certain way. Well, ALL of my routines have been disrupted, and are about to be even more so. What I realize is that routine is helpful in creating an internal sense of stability, but that the internal stillness and groundedness can be accessed even when the routine is paused or comes to an end. And so I practice, again and again, creating new habits, making adjustments, and cultivating the feeling of balance and steadiness inside.
I write this on the eve of motherhood, with a sense of bittersweetness for the pregnancy to be over. Today was a day of quiet reflection on my life until now, and a mix of excitement, readiness, fear, and mystery for what's ahead. I spent the day silently preparing, much like I do before I teach a class, prepare for a retreat, or how in my past life I used to get ready for a performance. It's a way to reserve my energy and grounded, but also cultivate courage and confidence. Yes, the future is unknown. It always is. But my internal yoga practice continues to help me prepare and be open for what's to come.
See you on the other side..... and I look forward to seeing you on the mat again soon!