When I saw the positive pregnancy test the first thought I had was, “What I am going to do now?!”
Then I cried. I ran to my partner and curled into his lap.
Motherhood became real all of a sudden, and it was scary. As a yoga and meditation teacher, I was aware of the creative power of the womb and of connecting to my body in the moment, but in those first few hours I felt completely lost and confused. I became a frightened little girl, vulnerable and insecure. All my work on evolution and spiritual growth felt like it had been wiped out.
Then I looked at myself in the mirror and saw a woman for the first time. Finally, I was able to accept her.
I have had a long history with eating disorders and body image issues. I never loved curves and was always judging my body and obsessing over what I ate. Therapy, meditation, mindfulness, fitness, and yoga helped in my recovery, but it wasn’t until the moment I saw myself in the mirror—as a mother—that I really accepted my body.
I let go of the idea of what I should look like and I started to see the truth. I was at the service of another life and it wasn’t about me anymore. I was experiencing a miracle.
Pregnancy was most helpful in my recovery, but I cannot deny the power of change—it’s f***ing scary!
Hormones immediately took over and I experienced changes in my mood, energy level, and body. What had seemed before to be a perfectly balanced New York City routine now felt like an insane schedule.
One defining night during my first trimester I came home and collapsed on my meditation pillow after teaching two full yoga classes, giving a private session in my studio, and meeting a friend for dinner. My meditation started with, “This won’t work. Something needs to change.“
I listened to myself and made conscious shifts. Here are the practices I used to support my transition into motherhood and create balance in a beautiful and full life:
Accept Your Vulnerability
Growth and change can bring confusion and feelings of unworthiness. In moments of vulnerability treat yourself how you would treat your baby. Set aside time for self care time and allow all your negative feelings to come up; see them clearly and separate from them: You are NOT those feelings. Instead of hiding from them, work on accepting them so you can let them go.
Create a Ritual
They say it takes a village to raise a child. Yogi Bajan also says that when someone is liberated, she liberates seven generations back and seven generations forward. That is a lot of healing! Take three to 10 minutes a day to connect with your lineage. Connect with your ancestors by calling upon them for protection and asking for support in resolving old karmic patterns. Frame a picture of your grandmother, connect with your parents, write a letter to your brother, send a prayer to your family. Forgive and clear the space.
Trust Your Instincts
Don’t listen to anyone else’s opinion about what you should or shouldn’t do. You are given a magical sixth sense the moment you accept the life within you. Relax into motherhood. Trust your instincts and do what feels right for you and your baby. Start by paying attention to your needs. Our issues are in our tissues, and we pass them along to our new creature during the nine months we share the same container. Resist the urge to think of your pregnancy as a condition or a sickness; it’s a moment of transformation.
The changes in the body we experience during these nine months can be supported greatly by connecting mind, body, and spirit. In my personal experience, integrating spiritual practice, especially during pregnancy, helps me be the best version of myself and helps me appreciate the miracle inside and out. After all we are spiritual being living a human experience, and as a mother, we bringing a new spirit into this world.