My Yoga Story – Growing Gratitude for EVERY Body

Through yoga, I have been able to cultivate gratitude as my body has shifted shape and function in the four decades of my life. My yoga story began as a child, which you can read about here, and continues to be a practice that will support my graceful aging.

Yoga Helped Me Develop Confidence in My Body

Childhood

As an athletically-challenged child, I only pursued sports in gym class and for a few years in afterschool middle school sports. I didn’t have body-confidence or grace in my gross-motor skills.

Yoga was a technique that allowed me to feel strong and get in touch with my body and its capabilities without subjecting myself to perceived humiliation or exhaustion.

Pregnancy

As an adult, I battled infertility for years before finally conceiving my daughter, Rowen. 

My husband and I went through five failed IUI procedures which took us on an emotional rollercoaster and left my body ravaged with surging hormones and anticipation.

Throughout that tumultuous process, it was yoga that brought me into my body when I felt that it was working against me with each failed attempt at pregnancy. And it was yoga that gave me the time to connect with my spirit to continue the journey to conceive a child.

It was finally through a risky IVF procedure that we conceived our daughter, and again yoga was there for me.

This time it was a new practice, Prenatal Yoga, that I attended at Blooma in Minneapolis.

Through this practice, not only did I ease the aches and pains of my changing body, but I found a compassionate community of support in this new journey of being pregnant. In fact, one of my dearest friends came out of connecting during a prenatal yoga class at Blooma and our friendship has now translated into our daughters who enjoy each other’s company and shared experience of being only children conceived from IVF.

Postpartum

The war with my body began in middle school – trying to fight back the emerging ‘obesity’ classification as measured by BMI. 

As a nineteen-year-old, I joined Weight Watchers and worked that program for two decades, which included employment as a WW Coach for several years. This tool allowed me to keep my body ‘in check’ but the battle with it never ceased.

Though pregnancy allowed me to relax the war with my body so it could serve a higher purpose of bringing my daughter into the world, the war picked up immediately after giving birth.

An emergency Cesarean delivery left me in major trauma and at odds with my body again. With my new healing incision and my body now carrying 80 pounds beyond the ‘healthy’ BMI measure, I felt exhausted, overwhelmed, and completely out of touch with this new body.

After healing for a few weeks and slowly adjusting to life as a new mother, it was time for yoga.

It began with a few short prenatal videos in the comfort of my home to gain my confidence. 

Then I began attending a handful of baby and me classes at my prenatal studio, Blooma.

Soon I had a gym membership and was going to a few restorative and yin classes a week.

And then everything shifted as I returned to the Hot Yoga practice that I had first practiced as a child.

It was through the heated room, two-walls of mirrors and the same class format of 26-postures that I came to know and shape the new me.

My time dripping in sweat in the heated sessions allowed me to look at myself – into my own eyes – and find love and compassion for the woman who reflected back at me.

I looked at that woman and saw her body as it moved and twisted in practice. This reminded me how that same body had moved and twisted throughout the years, and no matter how I treated her – she was always there for me, and now was there to not only grow, but nourish my precious baby.

Yoga for EVERY Body

As I stated in another blog post, yoga truly is for every BODY. Especially ones that are changing and need some connection and attention.

If you need help touching in and growing gratitude for your body, make sure you follow my Instagram account for quick, gentle restorative sessions that continue to grow on my feed.

I can help support your yoga journey, just reach out for a 20 minute consult call by scheduling here, and that may be enough, or we may find more ways I can support your healing and wellness.

You can also email me at robinswellnest@gmail.com and connect with me on Facebook or Instagram.

With love and light,
Robin

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