Thursday, July 8, 2010


Bina turned 9 months old last weekend - she is working on standing "no hands." And I turn 40 weeks postpartum this weekend - I've been working on my handstands. I've had as much time as it took to grow a baby inside to recover and grow from the process. It feels like a time to think about me individually - finally getting back into my "own" projects and practices - (starting this blog... shedding the last of the baby weight?) - while the last nine months have been focused on me as a mother.

It feels auspicious to be arriving at this milestone right at the time of my own birthday, giving more food for thought on the juxtaposition of me as individual and me as someone inextricably linked to another. Our birthdays are the start of our sun period, a time where our energy and creative capacity is heightened, so I want to use this momentum and make ritual of this time.

It makes me think of how many people come to the practice of yoga for the physical benefits, and only along the way find other benefits. The mind and body are inextricabIy connected, just as my place in the world is now inextricably connected to my role as mother.

The "becoming" of who we are and the work we still have to do is a process. It struck me how practicing yoga can bring us closer with our babies. It is so valuable for them to see that even as adults, we're not perfect - it's about process more than the end result. Having a practice of our own also helps us relate to how hard our babies are working when they try, again and again, to roll, crawl, or walk on their own two feet.

If you need a jump start on your practice, yogis implement a 40 day sadhana - you must do the new practice every day for 40 days and if you miss one day you must start again. It's a simple thing that anyone can do when we need a change. It takes about 40 days to cultivate a new habit (or 40 weeks to grow a baby... or 40 years to wander in the wilderness...) and a flood of water to mark the new phase:

Just as mind and body are inextricable in yoga, maybe your baby is inextricable from your practice. So do a little yoga with your baby around. Run to your baby from downward dog, and see if you can sneak in some sun salutes. Jump to seated in front of them and take a forward fold when you nestle their belly. Let them creep up on your chest while you have your legs up the wall. Let their persistence inspire your practice. And let them know you're still practicing too.

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