Monday, February 24, 2014

Prenatal Yoga- Take 2!

Yes, it's true. I'm now just about 4 months pregnant with baby #2! 

We are very excited to welcome this little one into our family this coming summer. For now, it's been a bit of a rough winter to get through the first trimester of fatigue, lots of up and down nausea, and just overall blah. I had been hoping this time around things would be different in that way, but it wasn't so. 
I continue to keep pushing through and try to be gentle with myself during this precious time. This is why I am starting to taper my public teaching schedule already. I need time for myself to be in this moment, to spend more time with my family, to reflect on the advanced training I just received in NY with Elena, to work on my writing projects, and to get organized for this baby. It feels right to take a break now and I am fortunate enough to get to do so. 

It's been a hard winter. Lots of snow, super cold temps, and the blahs of the first trimester have prevented me from usual upbeat energy to get out and about, to practice lots of yoga, and to enjoy the winter season. Instead I've spent many a days on the couch…and again I'm letting it be what it is/was. I feel like never before have I been SO excited for Spring than this year! I need the flowers, the green, the warmer breezes, the sun, and the ability to get out and walk about/play with Isak. 
It was a great idea to host and teach a Women's Winter Yin Series at my home because I had something to look forward to, to honor this season, and to connect with other women during a time where I have been vulnerable. 

In the last couple of months, specifically, I notice once again how individual, special, and different each pregnancy is for each woman. This was my biggest lesson when I was pregnant with Isak. To have to let go of the vision I had in my mind that I would still look (plus the big baby belly) and do the same things as before I was pregnant, especially in my yoga practice. That was really not the case for me. You all know the story. Instead, I gained upward of 45 pounds and did mostly restorative, slow hatha, and yin. No inversions, no backbends. Just wasn't what my body and baby wanted or needed at that time. This time around, it's feeling so similar. My body seems to be built to need to slow down and relax and get nice and round when I'm growing another being! My hips have already gotten much wider (it's amazing), and my belly is poking out like I'm at least 5 months pregnant instead of 4 (so goes the 2nd pregnancy I hear). My muscles are disappearing under my skin, and my energy is just not what it was. So I must embrace it! I'm going to be documenting each trimester with my friend, Cara, to show not only my body and it's transformation, but also my experience with practicing yoga through each trimester. My goal is that maybe some women out there will identify with what I have to offer in this way. I plan to write about my experience and then turn it into something I can share with you all. 

I get to teach prenatal yoga each week and practice and teach to mothers so often that it feels great to get to go through it all again and remind myself of all of our beauty and uniqueness. I am so very joyful and grateful to get to bring life into the world again! Even if it means discomfort on my part. Plus, any chance to release the control and discipline that I might be used to should be a welcome one. Even if it doesn't quite feel that welcome at times…I'm learning each day to love myself in this moment all over again. To be mindful when the negative thoughts toward myself or my body creep in, or when I get comments from others about how big my belly 'already' is. Becoming a mother requires such strength and resilience on a mental and emotional level way beyond physical strength. This is why yoga and meditation is so important during this time, and this is why I aim to be honest and open about my experiences in pregnancy and motherhood both on and off the mat. After all, when I look back at the first experience with Isak, it really did go by so fast. All of it. Pregnancy, and then the whole first year of his life. So it seems perfect now to learn from all the lessons I went through then and honor this life. It will only happen this once and then I have the rest of my life to get back to all else. 

Here's a special peek at my First Trimester shoot with Cara (when I was 12 weeks):
All photos are copyright Cara Brostrom

And this is my own little collage from when I first found out I was pregnant again,  the 2nd month, and then the 3rd. Body transformation=beautiful. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Winter Wellness Playlist

Hi Loves~ 
I created this for the Winter Wellness Workshop that I did recently with my gal, Steph. I've been using it for regular classes and practice lately too, and well, it's simply nice for a winter day. 

1.  Amiina: Untitled 4
2.  Sigur Ros: Ofbirta
3.  Nils Frahm: Me
4.  Snatam Kaur: Ong Namo
5.  Daughter: The Woods
6.  Olafur Arnalds & Arnor Dan: For Now I am Winter
7.  Bat for Lashes: Winter Fields
8.  Daughter: Winter
9.  Olafur Arnalds: Hands Be Still
10. Olafur Arnalds (Nils Frahm Remix): For Now I am Winter
11. Nils Frahm: Si
12. Sigur Ros: Var
13. Snatam Kaur: Long Time Sun

For my Women's Winter Yin Series that I'm currently running, I've been choosing a different book for each practice and opening to a random page (oracle style) to gather the wisdom of the current moment. They have all so far been in alignment of solitude, acceptance, spirit, and inner consciousness. It's fascinating. Here's a gem from Pema Chodron's Awakening Loving-Kindness:

"Learning to be not too tight and not too loose is an individual journey through which you discover how to find your own balance: how to relax when you find yourself being too rigid; how to become more elegant and precise when you find yourself being too casual."