Nirodhaḥ Yoga Blog
Empathy nurtures wisdom.
- Suzy Kassem
You may have read on our blog before that we select our themes for each month well in advance and yet somehow, the themes seem to so neatly align with what actually materializes. So when we selected our themes for May of 2022, which revolve around prenatal yoga and nurturance, I had no idea I would be celebrating my very first Mother’s Day as a mother to a newborn son this month as well.
As I write this, snow is falling outside fast and spring feels a long way away. At the moment, I am pregnant - in my third trimester to be precise - but the end of this pregnancy seems far away as well.
I am being guided, and always have been, by the Divine Mother within me. She shows me how to prepare myself and my surroundings for the profound shift that is about to take place.
All pregnancies are different and I have been extremely fortunate to (so far) have had a very easy pregnancy. Much of this is the luck of the draw. But fortune always favors the prepared and I cannot dismiss the effect yoga has had on my body and mind in preparation for this shift into motherhood.
What I have heard and observed is that parenthood is about creating best laid plans and simultaneously, the ability to adapt to the unexpected. This is essentially what yoga embodies and teaches.
Yoga has taught me how to be in tune with my body, how to advocate for what it needs, and how to adapt circumstances to create ease and stability in my bones and muscles.
Yoga has taught me the correct way to breathe. Practicing yoga has integrated this way of breathing into my entire being. It has prepared me to retain the fullness of my breath during moments of fear, anger, and sadness and let go of as much as possible, in preparation for the next breath . . . the next moment . . . the next chapter.
Yoga has taught me that I am not my mind; that I observe my mind only. It has taught me that all phenomena I experience are a way of transcending the limitations of this flesh-and-bones body, into the experience of the Divine Mother, which is truth, knowledge, and bliss.
All of these skills have enhanced my experience of pregnancy and, I’m sure, will serve me well as a mother. Although I don’t always do a prenatal yoga practice, per say, I have listened to my body and learned to adapt my practice through the changes it is experiencing.
Although I won’t immediately turn on a postnatal yoga video in the delivery room, I will witness the profound shifts that have enabled me to become a mother and honor them when I practice yoga (on my mat and off) after my son’s birth. I know that the care I give myself through my yoga practice will benefit him as well.
I have had the benefit of practicing yoga and meditation consistently for nearly 15 years. I have also had the benefit of learning from not only masters of the practice, but two women who embody the Divine Mother as yoginis and mothers themselves: Sonia Sumar and her daughter, Renata Sumar Gaertner. I don’t know how I have been so blessed to be guided in this way.
I know that others find yoga at different points along the way. Some of our teachers and students at 5KY have been practicing yoga since they were children. Some of them started in the last few years but are so eager, their practice has advanced very quickly. Others are just getting started on this path and looking for more guidance.
In honor of all of you - you varied expressions of the Divine Mother - I offer this affirmation: you are worthy of nurturance. In honor of those yogis who are mothers, whether a grandmother, a mother of many children, a mother of a single child, a mother of the soul, a mother in a feminine body or a masculine body or somewhere in between, a mother-to-be, a new mother, or experienced mother, or most importantly, a mother to yourself, I offer the same: you are worthy of nurturance.
If you are a mom-to-be, a new mom, a new yogi who is also a new or soon-to-be mom, you might be interested in the fabulous five-week Prenatal & Postnatal Yoga series Asra led for us. We’ve recorded the series for you and are offering it On Demand, since motherhood is all about flexibility and timing.
I encourage you to use this resource to nurture your beautiful body and the Divine Mother within you in preparation for your transition into motherhood. All I can say is that the practice of prenatal yoga has been essential for me, as I learn to navigate these changes. And I am sure I will return to Asra’s series as a new mom as well, to recover through the gentle practice of postnatal yoga.
May the Divine Mother bless you and offer you the nurturance you desire and deserve.
Rent the 5-Week Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga course On Demand.
Just some thoughts about yoga as I go...
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