Updated: Dec 11, 2018
When I had my son, I was very weak. Literally and figuratively. I recall struggling to give him a bath, my body feeling uncomfortable bending and kneeling. I struggled to go up and downstairs to do laundry without feeling winded. I struggled to carry a 40 pound bag of pellets to our pellet stove. I felt limited and it triggered feelings of inadequacy inside. I also began to feel that this caused my husband to do more, in which he already did a tremendous amount around the house and for our household.
Granted, during the first three years postpartum, my health needed my attention, so some of how I was feeling was because I was unwell. In retrospect however, I can see that I didn't have the healthiest belief system. I felt weak because I thought weak. I was disconnected from my myself and my body.
The muscle memory thing is no joke. Once I started to do yoga at home, by even doing the smallest movements, my body began to respond quickly. Each week I would notice small progressions from the week before. I've always been resistant to high intensity workouts or committing to a gym. My preferred movements are low and slow. Looking for fast results never drew me in. What was interesting about the low and slow approach is that over time, it became fast and intense without me realizing it. I was able to do balance postures or inversions that are considered advanced, but I had still viewed this as slow and steady.
It all clicked when my yoga teacher referred to the type of yoga we were trained in as "yoga from the inside out." Little did I know at the time, my approach was just that - I was doing all the inner work, which then began to show results on the outside.
Now when I give my son a bath, I may take a squat pose ~ Malasana as it is called in Sanskrit and can now comfortably sit on my heels in hero pose ~ Virasana. Between washing and rinsing, I will quick kick up into handstand ~ Adho Mukha Vrksasana to sustain what I've learned. When I do laundry (still begrudgingly, because LAUNDRY), I will try to find the yoga in it. Shoulder openers when carrying the bag up and over my head between my shoulder-blades. When carrying my son, who is now 40 pounds like my bag of pellets, I engage my pelvic floor and deep core to support the weight without compromising my body. To feel strong and resilient takes a lot of work, but wow does it feel good!
I have found the movements that work for my body. Baby steps can turn into giant leaps. You just have to want it enough.