Pregnancy teaches you lessons that only another woman that has been pregnant will understand, like for one “you” are out of control of your body. You are completely in touch with every transformative moment your body experiences. You surrender to the process of your body rapidly changing. You learn patience and it’s humbling on a daily basis. I was talking today with one of my favorite vendors at the farmer’s market from Khalsa Greenhouse. He has the most amazing fenugreek sprouts, which add the right amount of spice to your salads, and I learned that fenugreek helps boost breast milk. He told me that Yoga Bhajan says pregnancy is about learning patience. I would also add being completely in your body’s wisdom.
Teaching yoga while pregnant has been a fascinating journey of learning limitations, and I have had to learn how to teach in a completely different way. No longer can I demonstrate and or practice certain asanas, especially forward bends and back bends. My mind trips over itself because I can still feel the sensation of paschimottanasana or ustrasana in my body, and my mind thinks that maybe it’s possible, and it is far from possible right now. You learn quickly that even though your body is in a complete act of creation, which is incredible, the body has its limits. As a teacher, I can see how every single human body has it’s own unique set of limitations, and yet, we strive to move through these limitations, sometimes hurting ourselves. I’ve learned through pregnancy to surrender and honor the process. Thus the teaching changes to incorporate less demonstrating and more communication through verbal cues, and working with another student to demonstrate the asana.
However, the thing about being approximately 8-months pregnant is that somehow your memory and mental capacity to remember such things like your students names, or that an elbow is clearly not a knee is embarrassing. The mind goes, “Umm, I can’t remember what that is called,” and proceeds to tiresomely struggle for the right word to that part that helps the leg move. I have said while teaching, “Come into a 90-degree angle in the right leg by aligning your elbow over your knee,” oops. Yes, on several occasions, I have blanked and forgotten body parts, asana names, sanskrit, and even the very simple naming of everyday objects, which are now named “things or that thing.” I laugh at myself, and hope that my students know what I am talking about or well they just tell me don’t you mean the…
Teaching yoga while pregnant has also been a gift in learning how to let go of the “I am a yoga teacher hear me roar and look at me persona” that has the propensity to slyly creep in. I have an ever growing baby and belly. I am tired most days. I have random body aches, I can’t describe. My body doesn’t look like it used to, and I’m not feeling so limber. I have third-trimester symptoms like incredible indigestion, and sleepless nights. Yet, I am blissed out on pregnancy communing fully on the inside with this growing being. So, there is no room for personas here, only showing up as I am–growing belly and all.