I have never liked working out or really any sports for that matter. My parents tried to get me interested in all sorts of activities: gymnastics, figure skating, swimming, but nothing ever stuck. I was always more interested in making friends at my lessons than learning what the instructor was teaching. Can’t fault a girl for being friendly, can you?
As I have gotten older though, I have found one activity that has held my attention and that’s yoga. I think I fell for yoga because while it was great for my body, I was compelled by the incredible things it did for my mind.
I’ve suffered through my share of anxiety (who hasn’t these days?) and yoga became the perfect remedy for that. When I was feeling all the wrong kind of energy flowing through my body, I knew I had been off my mat for too long. Yoga, to me, is a constant companion – always there waiting for you when you need it. A best friend, of sorts.
When I became pregnant, I was immediately researching how soon I could attend prenatal yoga classes. I was surprised when I found out my current studio doesn’t offer those classes, so I found the next best thing: YogaWorks. Through their online offering, MyYogaWorks, you can take unlimited yoga classes in the comfort of your own home. The cherry on top: they have an entire library of prenatal classes, cutely named Journey to Birth.
So, that’s where I have been almost every day of my pregnancy. On my mat, connecting with my mind, body, and baby in an entirely new way.
The motivation for writing this post came to me yesterday after a quick lower body tone class. I decided, for the first time in a long time, to try a short meditation. I am terrible at meditating. I know that sounds really harsh and not really exemplifying a yogic attitude, but I am. I am that person who is sitting there and instead of experiencing some beautiful calming moment, I am redesigning the room in my mind or planning lunch. I just have a hard time focusing.
However, yesterday, I had an amazing experience and I’m sorry if yoga, energy healing, chakras, and auras are not your cup of tea, but you probably left this post by now if it’s not, so I am forging ahead.
I am fascinated by the chakras – the seven energy centers in our bodies. In meditation, the chakras often present themselves as colors, each color representing an energy center. When you see them, it tends to mean you are connected deeply to that specific energy center or your are experiencing healing in that area.
Yesterday during my meditation, I was overwhelmed by dark blue and purple – two colors I have never seen in meditation. These two colors represent the Third Eye (dark blue or indigo) and the Crown (purple). The Third Eye represents self-awareness, intuition, wisdom, and the ability to look at the bigger picture. The Crown, which is the highest chakra, represents a deep connection to our own spirituality and our inner beauty.
Wow. Can you see why I was a little surprised?
After my meditation, I spent a little time thinking about the experience and wondering why, of all times in my life, I would experience these colors at this particular moment and it quickly became clear to me.
I am not working right now (not exactly by choice, more on that in an upcoming perspective post), which means my stress levels are relatively low. I am not seeking yoga to calm any anxieties or stress, I am purely doing it as a way to prepare my mind and body for pregnancy and, eventually, for labor. For the first time in my life, I feel incredibly connected to my own body. The fact there is a little person inside of me has made that possible. I have created a place to express myself (here!) and I think all of this has opened me up to experience benefits of yoga and meditation that I’ve been closed off to previously.
Yoga has always been a source of protection for me, a way to ground myself and stay connected to my inner self in the midst of a life I didn’t always feel safe in. Now, I feel like I am able to receive instead of protect – a state of openness that I wasn’t able to offer before out of fear and the basic need to take care of myself.
So, I guess the journey continues. While I know I can’t hope for this type of experience every time I step on the mat, it certainly has given me the extra motivation to keep going with my practice – to keep establishing a deeper connection with myself and my baby.
If only this little one knew how much joy he/she is already bringing to my life. 25 weeks to go.