Yoga with a Newborn

Early in September I gave birth in spectacular style to my little boy Diego. It was an incredibly transformational experience on many levels. The birth story will have to wait for another blog however as this is about how my sadhana looks with a newborn. My sadhana has evolved with me as I have welcomed my baby into the world, into my world.

Previously I was very disciplined in my early morning rising, cold shower, daily kriya and meditation. My yoga was quite structured in terms of practice and then the philosophy permeated into my everyday perception. My yoga practice, is still committed, it just looks a bit different, well a lot different. It is certainly more of a spiritual practice! My practice happens when it happens. The hour of day is not very important to a newborn. This takes a little unravelling when you’ve been living by the clock for most of your life. I’ve found it very liberating though, given a few conditions. I don’t try to do too much and I allow plenty of time to make my way to a meeting point!

My sadhana is certainly sporadic. Rather than a long and luxurious practice, it now comes in little bite size chunks. It looks like singing mantra in the mornings to my baby, squats with the carrier on, arm rotations when my hands are free, long deep breathing on the couch. If I’m lucky I roll an actual mat out and stretch my legs and spine! Sometimes in the deep of the night when everyone else is sleeping, I will sit and meditate on the stillness. I know that one day I will be able to enjoy an uninterrupted two and a half hour long sadhana again, but not today! My time now is for my baby.

More than any of the physical aspects, my sadhana, my practice, is one of presence. Being present to the miracle of life. Being present to joy, both mine and that of my son. Being present to the wonder in the small things, like having hands that can touch and grab things. Being present to my daily happenings even if sometimes it feels tiresome or frustrating, as the small becomes full of purpose. Being present to the needs of my son and being in service to him because he chose me as his mother and I chose him. Being present serves me in so many ways. I’m less stressed as I have given up many “shoulds”. I smile and laugh more. I have a radiance which people notice. I know what is important for me and my family now. I do less but feel more.

The evolution of my sadhana has also involved an evolution of my body and my relationship with my body. Women’s bodies are just incredible in how they transform to create and birth life. I loved watching my body change whilst pregnant. Previously I had always found something that wasn’t quite right. A bit big here, a bit soft here, a bit short here and on and on. My relationship to my body after pregnancy and birth is one of deep respect, love and awe. Now I love the soft parts because my body was able to grow and expand to hold my baby. I love the big parts because they enabled me to birth my baby. I love the short parts because it is all part of an exquisite design that is me. I knew all these things intellectually and on some level I believed them. What I know now however is the felt experience that has deeply imprinted this body love within me. This is my small, not so small evolution and I’m forever changed for the better.

With love to all the mothers out there,

Sat Nam

Sat Ravi xx