Category Archives: Yoga

Twin Pregnancy: Week 18 + 5d Update

I know, I owed you one 5 days ago, but time seems to be flying by like crazy, so this will have to do!

18 weeks and 5 days

Again, this was first thing in the morning, I’m not wearing any make-up and I woke up at 5am and couldn’t get back to sleep. It doesn’t seem very fair that my pregnant body is already depriving me of sleep. Well, I suppose it’s more my pregnant brain…

Last week I went to a prenatal yoga class at the Shunnya Center for the first time. The yoga is based on Gurmuhk, who wrote this beautiful book that I highly recommend. She practices Kundalini yoga, which, if you’ve never taken a class before, I also refer to as “magic” yoga. There’s a lot of chanting and repetitive movements, that always seems to me like we are reciting a spell. But it’s a spell to make you feel good! I honestly haven’t been to a straight-up prenatal yoga class yet, so I can’t compare them, but what I love about Kundalini prenatal is that is more about making you feel comfortable and excited and connected to your baby, than it is about exercise (which you get by default, but it doesn’t focus on that part). It’s like therapy for pregnant ladies, and God knows I’ve needed it! I left the class last week so happy to be pregnant, a feeling that honestly is not always there for me. I’m going again tonight!

Another new development is finally not feeling deprived by not having a glass of wine every now and then. I sulked about it for a while, but suddenly (or I suppose not so suddenly, it’s been almost 5 months…) it’s not the first thing I think about when I’m headed to a party or out for dinner (and no, I didn’t have a problem! It was just a fairly constant – and moderate – part of my life). I don’t feel as socially awkward being around other people who are drinking, and I don’t find I need a substitute (nonalcoholic beer for example) to feel comfortable.

I’m weaning myself off of my anti-nausea pills. I’m down to one a day, and hoping to be done with them this weekend. The last time I stopped them cold turkey, I ended up feeling the sickest I’ve felt so far. This time I decided to slowly stop them. I take the pill in the evening, when I feel the most nauseous. So far so good!

We are counting down the days until the ultrasound. I’ve started to feel things rolling around in there, and I feel connected to them, but I’m really excited for my husband to see them. I think it will make it more real for him – even though he already stares at my belly like it’s an alien growth – this will just make it more clear what’s going on!

I had a revelation this week that a twin pregnancy is very very different from a singleton pregnancy (not better or worse, because I can’t compare them!). I was speaking with another girl in my office who is expecting her first baby in mid-August. She is planning to work right up until August – because she won’t be lugging around more than 10 lbs of baby or have had to put on at least 35 lbs (I’ll be done mid-June…if I make it that far). She looked a bit confused when I asked her how bad her food aversions were, and she seemed surprised by my already swollen ankles. She is technically 2 weeks ahead of me – but I am technically 5 weeks ahead of where I am! Point is, I’m learning to be kinder to myself. My body is doing some seriously hard work, double time.

I’m off to Niagara Falls this weekend for my good friend Jess’s bachelorette party. We will be doing a wine tour which I will be jealously watching, but I have given myself permission to buy a bottle of wine at each vineyard and save it up for post-birth. I know I just said how okay I am with not drinking, but I WILL enjoy that first glass once the little ones have arrived!

Have a great weekend!

Sarah

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Yep, I’m turning into a hippy yoga freak (and loving it)!

“Every happening is a lesson, a message.”

-Yogi Bhajan

As I recover from my Halloween candy extravaganza, I thought I would do a quick post on Yoga Teacher Training. It is a strange and bumpy road, and almost the same sort of rabbit-hole as plant-based living: The more I learn, the more there seems there is to learn.

I have not been consistent with my home practice, I’ll admit. Some mornings, I just feel like my usual grumpy, sleepy self. On mornings like that I think, ugh, I’m never going to change. The negative monologue swings into high-gear and I remind myself of allll the things I have started and failed at, alllll the reasons why I won’t ever become a yoga teacher, allll the things about myself that I want to change, or that don’t measure up to my own expectations.

Then there are mornings when I push myself out of bed 20 minutes early. I force myself through a sun salutation or two, a few warriors and triangles; some twisting and a bit of binding, then I settle into a 10 minute seated meditation. Sometimes I just let myself sit there and listen to the sounds of the city in the morning. Today I tried to focus on my breathing, thinking “So” on the inhale and “Hum” on the exhale, the Sanskrit words for “I am.” On those mornings, I am a bit more awake. I don’t rush as much, and the negativity tour doesn’t start in my brain. It’s a subtle difference, it’s not like meditating is going to make a dramatic over-night change, but I can see how it may be the start of something.

The universe seems to be talking to me. A couple Saturdays ago, I was feeling very emotional and scared of the changes that I am inviting into my life (Friday night consisted of a cry-fest to my husband about moving to the country…what a basket-case).  I went to the yoga studio, meaning to go to a hot class at 9am, but I got there early, and went to a Hatha class at 8:45 instead.  I had always considered a hot flow class to be a more difficult class, requiring more strength and endurance. Lately, I am drawn to “regular” classes. On that Saturday morning, the teacher spoke about change and showing yourself kindness as you navigate change. It brought tears to my eyes because it was exactly what I needed to hear. More and more it happens with conversations I have, books I am reading, even t.v. shows that I watch. Just when I am feeling that something is off, I am given an answer or comforted.

I have always believed that everything happens for a reason, in that cheesy teen angst sort of way. I was hell-bent on never feeling any regret in my life, and believing that there is a greater purpose can do that. Now I am starting to change my mind. I think that we see everything in a certain way for a reason. I feel my perspective changing, and being able to use everything I come across to help my journey. I could have taken a yoga class where the instructor talked about change and not applied it to my life, but instead I chose to feel comforted by it. This is a small shift, and it was involuntary, but I’m starting to see the power behind it.

Lessons and messages surround us; it is up to us to see them.  

One of my favourite games is to pull any book off the shelf, flip it open to any page and point to a line. Allow it to relate to you, you will be amazed how insightful it can be!

Also check out Crazy Sexy Life today for a great post on synchronizing with the universe.

Namaste!

Sarah


3,000 Down Dogs

This weekend I completed my first two days of Yoga Teacher Training at Upward Dog Yoga.

Let me start at the beginning. I took my first yoga class probably somewhere around 2004 (thanks, Karen!), and while I liked it enough, it felt pretty new-agey, the sort of thing I was maybe supposed to laugh at like self-help books and saxophone music.

I spent some time out west, and heard a lot more about this “yoga” thing. It stopped seeming weird but being the couch-potato that I am, it seemed inconceivable that I could do something so active on any sort of regular schedule. Then when I was job-hunting around 2006, I ended up working reception at a yoga studio for the summer.  Still, I felt like an outsider. It was a struggle for me to get to a class (even though they were free!), and when I did, I felt like I was the worst person in the room, out of shape and un-coordinated. Sure, I’d walk out of a class with a yoga high, but I would go into class on a low, when I went at all. Yoga fell off the map for me for a while, and then when I started experimenting with raw food, I signed myself up for a 3 month unlimited membership at Santosha. And all of a sudden the yoga world opened its arms to me and gave me a big big hug. I suddenly got it. Yoga makes life better. I started feeling more flexible, I was going to advanced classes, and not caring if I was off-balance or couldn’t “bind.” I got out of my head and into my body, and I loved it.

The problem, as always, was that I couldn’t reconcile my yoga self with my party-girl self. I couldn’t very well make a 9:30am Saturday class if I’d stayed out at a bar until 4am the night before. Party-girl kept winning that battle, and Yogasarah pouted quietly in the corner.

Two things happened this past winter. One was that I signed up for a one-month unlimited Moksha yoga pass, and I actually went at least 3 times a week (thanks, Sam!). I could feel the detoxifying effects. If I ate something bad (pizza, poutine, a chocolate croissant), or did something I shouldn’t (drink/smoke too much), I would wake up in the middle of the night bathed in sweat (tmi?). My body started to get pretty direct with me. My body liked yoga and really disliked bad stuff.

I had also joined a new gym around that time, and I actually felt like I was getting a bit stronger. I could keep up with the instructor, I was actually excited to go to classes, I found I could get out of bed easier in the morning – and trust me I am NOT a morning person – and I had more energy at night. I also had an influx of money (thanks, Public Service Union), and almost without thinking about it I signed up for Yoga Teacher Training.

Of course, a lot of thought did go into it. I wanted an extended program, not a 3 week, or even 3 month deal. I wanted something that I could see myself progress over. There are a lot of bad habits that I need to fix, and that’s not going to happen over night. There was also no way I could do it every weekend. I know me, and that would be a recipe for burn-out. Sometimes it can take me half a day to clean the bathroom, if I didn’t have a free weekend every now and then, my life would fall apart. I wanted a studio that would focus on all aspects of yoga, philosophy and history as well as the asanas (physical). Upward Dog met my criteria and my first class was on Saturday. So far, I’ve already met some nice people, and my mind has been sort of blown by how much more there is to yoga than I thought. I also love how yoga connects to food. I’m going to learn all about “ahimsa” or non-violence, and how that relates to a vegetarian or vegan diet. 

Right now my biggest take away from the weekend is that we already know everything there is to know, it’s just that we forget that we know it. Learning is remembering. It is already inside us.

Yep, I feel like a new-age hippy-dippy. But the amazing thing is, I don’t care. And that, I believe, is step one of any transformation.

YTT over-view:

I am excited for: Meeting people with like-minds; finding some discipline in my life; seeing the world differently.

I am scared that: I will lose interest and drop out half-way through.

I am conscious that: I have a feeling that The Husband is worried that I will change and not love him anymore. I’m trying to explain to him that a happier me = a happier him. He will also be my teaching guinea pig. I have a feeling that scares the sh*t outta him.

My body feels: Sore arms! I did maybe 3,000 downward dogs.

I am eating: Really lightly. Banana w/peanut butter for breakfast; herbal tea; veggie/rice stir-fry and Mary’s crackers and hummus for lunch; raspberries and an apple for afternoon snack, and I’m thinking some sort of quinoa/beans/salad for dinner.