Wednesday, November 28, 2012

breath, yoga, and faith

I'm really proud of this yogini, Julie Ransdell (check out her open heart above). It's not an easy thing to share your story and risk being vulnerable. Julie does so beautifully here while weaving in breath, yoga, and faith in such a heartfelt way. 

This time last year I was frustrated and beginning the process of going to doctor appointments, taking daily medications, getting blood drawn and tested- all to figure out why I wasn’t getting pregnant. 
This year, I have a little baby girl heart beating in my belly.

What a difference time makes- what a difference yoga makes.

Even though Thanksgiving is over and the facebook statuses of thankfuls are drawing to a close and we are moving full speed ahead into the Christmas season, I cannot help but continue to be thankful for the last two years of my life. They have been the most difficult, the most heartbreaking, the most trying, and the most defying. 

My husband and I have spent a lot of time driving to Cincinnati for doctor visits, x-rays, procedures to help us become pregnant. So much money spent, so much time invested, so much medicine in my body.

I experienced my first sense of real panic during this time. Growing up in a house of girls with a stay at home mom made me long for the very same thing my whole life. A house full of babies, cooking, cleaning, playing, laughing... I never in a million years thought it would be so difficult to attain. 

I thought getting pregnant was going to be easy. 
The thing is though, after I realized how not easy it could be- I still had faith. And I still had my yoga practice- the very constant part of my life that aided me through those difficult times as well as these happy times today.

When I felt the panic bubbling up inside of me or the sadness welling up in my eyes, I was able to full on experience those moments with deep breaths and a sense of trust. 

It wasn’t always pretty but it was always real because if there is one thing I have learned from yoga it is how to be authentic with myself. I’m not always good at it but I’m always aware of it. 

Those deep breaths? They are reminders to settle in and listen to my heart, my soul, my spirit- my authenticity. That is what the mat is for- to bring us to our reality and our truest breath.

Pregnancy has not been a walk in the park either. Lots of sickness, frustration, sleeplessness, and fear. My yoga practice has suffered severely and at first, it made me feel like a “bad” yogini. 

I quickly realized that these intentional breaths I take before bed and when I wake in the morning, these pauses to drop my shoulders and sit up a little taller are all a part of the yoga practice and all that is asked of me in this universe, by my God, and my community is that I do the best I can and try to be fully present.

With so much hurt and despair that surrounds us, it can be so easy to get caught up. To ask why? To think that things are not fair. While those are real and honest emotions to have, yoga shows us that taking time to sit and be mindful can provide insight beyond the questions. 

It shows us that being in the moment allows us to experience the hard times and good times with a full heart.

Now, at 21 weeks pregnant (naturally!!), I am fully present to the fact that life is fragile and life is magical and when I sit on my mat in Sukasana with my hands in prayer, life accepts all parts of my authentic self.


skw said...

thanks for your openness and sharing how your definition of practice is expanding. much love!

Kathy said...

yes, those breaths! mini mediations and breathing throughout the day are working to keep me grounded these days. i really enjoyed reading julie! thanks.