On Pregnancy and Practice

My yoga-selfies chronicling the progression of this baby bump in headstand notwithstanding, my practice is changing with pregnancy.

18 weeks

18 weeks

24 weeks

24 weeks

25 weeks

25 weeks

Partly because of the physical changes, and the discomforts of SI joint dysfunction and pubic symphisis dysfunction that I get to have the great pleasure (ha!) of exploring, but mostly due to the greater internal shifts in focus and priority. 

My personal practice has always been more gentle, more exploratory, sensitive to the demands of the day.  But it has been a physical practice.  One where I use the poses as a form of meditation, and one that ends with a few minutes in seated silence or chanting, but one that is about getting on the mat and moving my body.  These days that formula is upended, stood on its head as it were!  These days I might start with a few minutes of cat/cow, of downward facing dog, of headstand - though it is an 'advanced' pose, it is one that body and baby are both so happy in-, of wide legged forward fold...  but the bulk of my personal practice is one of silent meditation, of non-verbal communication with this little shining being within me, of pranayama, of chanting.  Baby loves chanting. 

It makes the best sense in the world of course - chanting is a vibratory practice.  Vibrations that move through and affect the liquid body in beautiful and healing ways.  And baby lives in an internal aqueous world.  Chanting then, is not only a sound practice of auditory experience for baby, but a whole-body sensory experience.  We chant mantra, we chant longer prayers.  I experience a freedom and a beauty in chanting that I've never found in singing.  Chanting soothes me, melts away layers of tension, puts me in touch with the multi-dimensional reality that interpenetrates with this physical world of objects and sensation. 

Chanting fools my monkey mind into thinking that I'm "doing" something "worthwhile" rather than "wasting" my time in silent meditation.  And after chanting, silence is welcome.  Silence takes on a resonant quality all its own. 

I sit in sound or I sit in silence and baby sits with me.  Its a quiet practice, deep and internal, not a practice that shows on the surface.  It suits us.