Let me start off by saying, I’m not pregnant.
I went to a pre-natal yoga class today at the Seaside Yoga Sanctuary in Pacific Grove with a dear dear friend of mine who is pregnant.
The class started out with introductions, “I’m Andrea, I’m due in May and this is my 3rd boy.” “I’m Sandy, I’m due in June and this is my first.” And so on and so forth until it got to me, I was the last to introduce myself, “I’m Sally, I’m not pregnant–I’m support crew, I don’t have any children and this is not my first pre-natal yoga class.” I smiled at my cleverness.
We proceeded to 75 minutes of gentle lower back and hip-opening poses, slowly, mindfully. Fluidity was highlighted and water, as imagery, was used quite a bit. The instructor works in births and was quite knowledgeable about pregnancy and the birthing process. “This pose is great during labor.” “It helps a lot if you have your partner or a loved one massage your back in heart shapes while you’re giving birth, the touch of another human increases your endorphins, will make you happier, and ease your labor pains,” she said as she instructed us to massage our own arms.
I thought about that comment, wouldn’t the touch of another human, especially a loved one, increase your endorphins and make you happier…not just during labor? Yes, of course. So lesson to all of us, hug more, rub your friends’ backs–especially when they’re having a tough time–and touch your loved ones: hold hands, rest your hand on her/his leg as she/he drives, put your arm around one another, etc.
The class was slow and lovely, a much welcome close to the end of my Monday after a busy busy weekend.
At the end, as we sat in reclined Goddess pose (I think she called it Queen pose), she said “relax, relaxing is a practice and we all need to relax more.” I thought, oh man, she’s talking to me. But then I reminded myself that the things I struggle with, many other people also struggle with…overcommitting, stressing out, not relaxing enough, etc. But here I am at yoga, making active efforts to combat my tendency to overcommit, letting go of the outside world/cell phone/computer and breathing and actively relaxing.
So here’s to yoga, to breathing, to accepting our flaws and counterproductive habits, and making efforts to incorporate healthy practices in our daily lives.