Dear all, I have one month before I begin teaching again.  I have taken, what will be, 5 months, to settle in to baby number 2.  One of the reasons I am writing this blog is to renew my commitment to my practice and teaching.  The more I can put myself out there (so to speak) I will encourage myself to be a curious and dedicated practitioner of yoga.  However, motherhood, is also pretty amazing and how to let the two grow hand in hand? Motherhood/Yoga practice?  It all starts with love.  Love for the little one that keeps me awake.  Love for the practice that opens my heart and helps me feel the gift of breath and being.  With the heart opening and strengthening, the love can grow.  

So after baby number 2, we can now call her, Aliyah, I waited about 4 weeks to practice again.  I did not have stitches and recovered quickly.  Bleeding had stopped.  But still felt the need to not go there, yet.  Also, I was enjoying looking at this beautiful little girl.  That seemed the appropriate meditation.  Still does, often :)  

Once back in to yoga, this fire started up again.  A fire ball of energy, ideas, desire.  A wanting to go back to the practice I remembered.  Of course, I knew I couldn't, but some movements started to feel so good.  If I could just twist a little more...ouch!  I bruised a rib!  Never in my practice before had I done such a thing.  Anger, frustration, more patience.  Then I eased up.  Found a lovely on-line class with Sigrid Matthews.  Took things really slow (as my rib now demanded).  Some of what began to feel good and helpful I was able to shape in to a practice of my own.  So this I can now share as a nice return practice to yoga - after some time away from the physical.  After pregnancy everyone has a different appropriate time to return.  In general, bleeding should stop.  6 weeks is the recommended break for a vaginal birth.  Cesarians can be longer.  So please speak with your mid-wife.  This is an approach to your practice.  It is not written for a total beginner, but for someone that already has practiced some before :)

Begin on hands and knees practicing the cat/cow.   Breath in for 4 counts and out for 6.  If that feels too long you can shorten the counts but keep the breath out longer than the breath in.  This will encourage an engagement or awareness of your abdominals.  Take this breathing in to your first down dog (adho mukha svanasana).  Then through to plank.  Lower your knees and then lower your belly toward the floor.  Maintain your knees on the floor to come forward and up with the chest to a baby cobra and back to dog pose.  Repeat this process 3 -4 Xs.  As many as you want using the 4/6 breathing.  The more your back warms up you can put more weight in the arms for cobra (bhujangasana).  It is nice to keep the knees on the floor however (easier for shoulders/back/wrists).  Then from dog pose walk hands back to a forward fold (uttanasana).  Begin now in tadasana, standing with feet hip distance apart.  Sit pack to awkward chair (utkatasana) moving through surya B.  We all have different versions out there.  But from dog pose extend the right leg back and then step the right foot forward.  Let your back (left) knee rest on the mat.  Soften the shoulders, uh.  Check in with your 4/6 breathing. Back to plank, lower, lift chest and back to down dog.  Left side now. Finish sun salutation.  Repeat as many times as you like.  Build up to crescent when you feel ready and eventually warrior one (virabhadrasana I).  This may be your whole practice and well done.  Rest as needed in child's pose and take shavasana at the end. 

What I am enjoying most is using that breath and getting a sense my body is stitching back together.   I am trying lots of standing poses this way.  Thanks for reading.