One of the most wonderful elements that yoga provides is a sense of clarity and focus—so greatly needed in our frantic, constantly-wired lives. Sometimes during the day I notice I’m agitated and nervous, as if I’m on deadline for something that I’ve forgotten and am desperately trying to remember what needs to be done. I don’t drink coffee, but it’s as if I’ve downed a few shots of cafe cubano, and every cell in my body is reacting. If I can step away from the computer screens and connect with my body and deepen my breath, sometimes it’s a handstand or a headstand, or maybe a backbend over the ball…the stress melts away.
So then I can listen and make better decisions. Right now my yoga practice needs to be informed by the demands on my body. I keep reminding myself that I just had a 9 pound baby four months ago! I gained 40 pounds with the pregnancy and still have about 13 to lose. Now I’m breastfeeding a big hungry baby, producing more than 30 ounces of milk a day. If you were me and I was giving you advice, I would absolutely tell you to pamper yourself. I’ve got to ease back into this practice! Today is the fifth day of the challenge and my body is telling me loud and clear what it needs: utkatasana and dandayamana janushirasana. My poor lower back is struggling to recover from the strain of carrying that little monster around for months! Until my body tells me otherwise, these two are on the menu every day.
Speaking of menus! Another aspect of hearing loud and clear what my body wants is nourishment—I find that when I’m doing yoga, I make much better choices about what goes into my body. The deplorable cravings for the CRAP processed food of my childhood seem to disappear. Today I experimented HEAB-style and roasted a kabocha and then whipped up my own version of Katie’s Blended Grains……..a porridge of organic Kamut and Spelt went into the Vitamix with a little vanilla soymilk, and then I topped it with POM arils! (Only partly motivated by HEAB’s latest contest! )