As I type this, I am exhausted – being five months pregnant and attempting to purchase maternity clothing at Ross with a four year old in tow can do that to you – in all honesty, I think what I eventually purchased probably makes me look like an overly tattooed cupcake…anyone seen the movie “Spy?” – yea…like her necklace…if not, google the necklace, you’ll get a chuckle.
Movement – to say we’ve been through hell the last year is an understatement – losing four – FOUR family members within ONE year can disrupt your lifestyle considerably. Two grandfathers, an uncle AND a sister – makes holidays seriously sad, and what’s more is our bodies are designed to hold onto the pain which our brains can’t process…so, there’s fibromyalgia times four, a massive upswing of stress hormones and a larger than normal desire to sleep. Grief makes it impossible to get anything done in a normal way. Waking up hurts, grocery shopping hurts. Even self-medicating, although fun and numbing for a moment…eventually hurts. In my case, I stopped moving. I went from working out six times a week, teaching two yoga classes AND teaching karate to only teaching the karate I needed to and pretty much sleeping as much as possible. I’m sorry, but my grief was just too much, breathing through my asanas hurt like being cut a part with a cheese grater…at some point, I stopped trying, stopped breathing, clammed up. It’s been tough. Even harder to keep together as a Mom and wife…forget friendships – I totally lost several of those over the course of the year – just couldn’t get out of the house!
One night as I was in a particular amount of nasty pain, I was sitting outside and contemplating, praying, asking for an end to this misery, I heard G-d say to me (yes, G-d) that he would heal me. That my world would feel as though it was ending, life as I knew it was about to completely upheave, but to trust…seriously, it was weird – amazing, but weird – time stood still, the world was silent, I felt dizzy, definitely G-d.
Three weeks later we discovered I was pregnant with our second child…and then, as happy as we were, I literally almost died – no seriously – that first trimester was horrific – one things for sure, this kid is a fighter like the rest of her family – she hung in through a bleed, through dangerous dehydration, through strept throat, bronchitis, hyperemesis, heart problems and the fright of a very scared mommy, who was told over and over that because of her age and symptoms, it was unlikely she was going to carry her daughter to term.
So what happened? What kept me sane? Aside from the love of my husband and family, G-d gave me visions of all my ancestors before me – the women especially, who survived, pregnant, walking hundreds of miles after being freed from Egypt, the women who survive today, bravely taking merchant ships to America or other non-war stripped countries…sometimes giving birth in 112 degree wether, in shipping containers IN THE MIDDLE OF THE OCEAN…the women who survive cancer after having their breasts removed, their hair gone, their bodies ravaged by radiation…these were my heroines, part of the rope that held my exhausted and terrifying life-raft together through the mess of the first trimester – with my husband’s never ending support, and both sides of the family pitching in to help, we made it through, BUT I’ve only started to move again, as of the last few weeks…which is again, what this post is about – movement. The importance of it and why.
The “greats” say that yoga is in everything – I tend to agree – there is yoga and mindfulness to dish washing, slinging coffee, one’s work – basically, yoga equals “process,” and if we are mindful in our process or even lack of process, we are practicing yoga, but not all yoga is physical movement…thoughts are mental or energetic movement, but moving our physical bodies, well, that needs to occur in order to properly pump our blood, burn excess energy, level out our hormones and chemicals and most importantly, dump the mental baggage, the trauma that our bodies hold onto DAILY. Not weekly, not once in a while – nope – our body needs literally to dump every day. Just like regular pooping, moving your body keeps things in good working order.
What I’ve learned, again…and will likely learn again someday, is that we humans also need to move our bodies to stay sane. When we don’t move, we start to stagnate, and stagnant waters breed some pretty nasty pond scum…in short, if one doesn’t want to become pond scum, one should at the very minimum take a walk somewhere.
After five months of modified bed rest and SERIOUS nausea and vomiting (and food poisoning) I’ve started moving again. It started with a quarter mile walk to Starbucks…that tuckered me out! BUT, the last few weeks I’ve finally gotten back into my yoga practice, slowly and with MUCH laughter and acceptance (but much laughter) at my new pregnant body and ridiculously large behind (carrying a girl, so I guess Im storing milk fat in my bum…yay!) I am moving again. Some mornings it’s only a five minute mini-vinyasa flow through a modified triangle series – some mornings there’s a bit more, like today, I was amazed I could still get into “Tree” and “Royal Dancer” – it was a little wobbly, but it was fun and again, the laugher helped. I look at it this way…if I’m able to consciously breathe and focus on my body and unborn kiddo for even five minutes, that’s powerful. I’m finally taking my own advice – the advice I would give to anyone who would listen when I was teaching – five minutes of exercise and just plain MOVEMENT and breathing goes a LONG way towards building a healthy and humorous relationship with your body…I’ll thank myself in the end, I know it 🙂
Anyways – I hope you give it a shot – find something, ANYTHING – dancing, yoga, swim, biking, hiking, sex (yes, it counts), soccer, baseball – find something you can move with and try it….because you don’t want to be pond scum either.