I went to my first proper yoga class today, since Nugget was born. My last class was exactly 2 days before he made his grande entrance. I frantically tried to practice at home, on my own, a few times, but I don’t have the self discipline to really do so. The class setting gives me proper practice, keeps my mind from wandering, keeps me from constantly wondering about my alignment, etc, because there’s an instructor there to keep an eye out for any major issues.
My going to a yoga class again really feels like it marks a beginning of some sort. As I’d mentioned in the previous post, it wasn’t really until about a month or so ago that it began to sink in just how much had happened over the last year and the toll it had taken. Physically and emotionally. A lot of it has sooooo much to do with the fact that I’ve been pretty isolated & alone the past year and a half, another thing Mr Nikki & I are just realizing. He was home this entire weekend and we went to Green Lake for a 3 mile walk both days. By Sunday, I was feeling wound up and out of sorts about the days. It’s going to be a bit of a process, letting the dust settle, learning to have him around and especially, for me, feeling a sense of permanence and “settled-ness” in this house. It’s not something I’ve really had for the past decade and my body is always primed to get up and go. I often look at the back yard and feel rushed to fix it up, then have to remind myself, “I have plenty of time. We aren’t leaving here any time soon.”
On Nugget’s part, he couldn’t be any easier going or amicable. Ever babysitter we’ve had, through the subsidized service, has gone on and on and on about how easy & cheerful he is. The sitters we’ve had regularly have said that he’s their favorite (and, might I add, the cutest. He really is.) The kid doesn’t cry unless he’s tired. He’s great at amusing himself – we’ve gotten him a walker and he will happily cruise around the house for HOURS.
Now I’m trying to kick start myself towards getting in better shape for October. I want to look & feel as good as possible in Spain. It’s a goal. I find that Nugget is the best motivation I’ve ever had for being active – I don’t want him to be stuck inside all day, any day. I want to be able to keep up with him on a bicycle & hikes. I want to set a good example, in terms of outdoor activity simply being a part of life.
So yes. I’ve started yoga again today. There’s a fabulous new studio that just opened up, within miles of our house and while they have the standard 6 am classes, they also have a couple of 7 am which I can absolutely shoot for. 6 am is pushing it. I’ve never been the kind of person that does “me time” or feels justified in doing so, and I always roll my eyes when people say things to me about taking time to take care of myself. But sitting there at the beginning of practice, eyes closed and doing the Ujjayi breathing, I consciously thought about the fact that I was doing this for me and this was my time, and I actually got a little choked up. Then I thought, wow, well, that just goes to show how much I needed this. The hour and a half of intense flow in a warm room on a hot day was pretty freakin’ brutal, I’ll admit. But the kind of brutal where I can’t wait to go back and make it not so brutal.
She repeated something a few times throughout the hour and a half that really resonated with me. “Be a witness, not a judge.” She said this in reference to noticing the aches & pains in our bodies and how flexible (or not) we might be right now. Notice it, don’t let your ego get in the way, don’t push yourself or punish yourself for not going as far as you’d like or think you should. That’s something I’ve always had a problem with, in all areas of life. So I’ve written that down & am trying to keep it in mind. Be a witness, not a judge. It also occurred to me that it will be a great mantra to carry with me into my Postpartum Doula practice, both to tell new mothers and for myself to keep in mind while offering help.
Even though, in many ways, I feel like like I’ve moved seamlessly into the role of “mother”, there are some things that have been huge sticking points for me – and, again, part of the reason it’s been so hard this past year. I have always been defined by my flightiness, my impulsiveness, my neurosis, my desire & ability to get up and go at any moment. Often times, I felt defined by all my darker points and wondered who the hell would I be without them? I still need to learn to define myself without the negatives, to focus on the positives, and find new ways to channel my get up and go-ness. Some things, like the travel, cannot be renegotiated. Now that Mr Nikki’s project is over (well, this one, anyway – but the future ones won’t be as bad) and he’s “Director” now, that means more money and more vacation time. We’ve talked a lot about how to work travel into our lives. We’ll be able to fit in a couple big trips each year (I’ve been eyeing up Queensland since seeing the photos of a friend’s trip and Iceland is still at the top). Vancouver is a couple hours away and we loved it so much we plan on going up once a month. It’s worth a day trip, and we also have friends there who we can crash with AND who said that we’re welcome to stay whenever they go out of town (and we’re doing a vice versa, as they love Seattle.) I really need to write an entire post on Vancouver one of these days. Our first glimpse of the skyline got an awestruck, “Jesus!” out of both of us, at the same time. Mr Nikki described it as “Tokyo meets Berlin”. I’ll wait for the post to explain that.
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