Giving the gift of presence

By Ariana

Prior to getting pregnant, my physical yoga practice was the center of my life. I tried to practice everyday on weeks that I could and would travel to study with new teachers. Getting pregnant was a humbling experience when it came to my physical practice. My body started to react differently. The relaxin running through my body made my ligaments weak and stretchy making it difficult to find strength in my poses. The little human I was growing became more important than the practice that I revolved my life around and so my physical practice fell by the wayside. The physical asana, however, is not the only way to practice yoga. It was in my pregnancy that I started to strengthen the other side of my yoga practice–the mindful side that allowed me to be more present.

Meditation became the center of my birth plan. Being present and relaxing into the process allowed me to have a quick labor free of complications! But the most important part of my mindfulness practice has happened since having my baby. Life changes so dramatically and with an infant working to adjust to the world and raging hormones this beautiful journey starts to become incredibly challenging. It was within the first few days of bringing the baby home that I realized I needed to prioritize myself and her by letting go of everything outside of our adjustment period. Being present in the moment and mindful of my own recovery has allowed me to not only benefit myself and my body but also my baby.

I have noticed that when I’m completely present with my baby she is more relaxed. The other day as I was multi-tasking. Writing studio emails, holding a baby, binge watching HBO shows, and trying to eat lunch in between feedings. The result was a discontent baby and lots of fussing. I knew it was time to take a break and enjoy the time with her at this age that I will never get back. The same idea applies to my husband. We were moving so quickly and working so hard before the baby was born that we rarely had a chance to just enjoy each other and the the present. Mindfulness not only impacts your quality of life but those around you.

As you move through this week and work to improve your own mindfulness practice, consider the positive impact it has on those around you. Notice how your friends and loved ones are impacted by your presence and by the sense of calm that being mindful brings you. Watch your relationships grow and change for the better.



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