Pregnancy is by far and away one of the most challenging experiences I have had the pleasure of living through, and I haven't even got to the labour part yet!! I wanted to share one of the things I have learnt so far along this amazing journey of self discovery, and so I am taking a pregnant pause to do just that. Pregnancy amongst other things, has allowed me to be more unreasonable than I would usually be, for example, I allow myself to be less disciplined with regards to my yoga practice, mediation, asanas and pranayama because I am pregnant. Give yourself a break I can hear you say, however, being a yogini is not something that I can do half-heartedly, for me it is an all or nothing lifestyle and once I allow one thing to slip it's much easier to let everything else go, because I'm pregnant, poor me!!
My first trimester was pretty hard, I was nauseous and exhausted not to mention depressed, I felt like a 16 year old version of myself again. Every morning I would wake up and wonder, when am I going to feel like me again, why can't I feel happy? Looking back on this now, I realise that a lot of the depression was due to fear of losing my baby. After having a miscarriage you never have that sense of freedom to enjoy your pregnancy that comes with your first ever pregnancy. There is always that fear of loss which is indescribable, and frustrating because you can't effectively communicate this to anyone else. However, would things have been different if I was more disciplined with myself, if I practiced mediation, and positive thinking and really stuck to my yogic lifestyle being mindful, instead of resigning myself to the fact that I was a slave to my emotions and hormones?
As things progressed and I made it to my second trimester I began to allow myself to enjoy the pregnancy. However, even now I still find myself using the excuse "Well I'm pregnant, hence my awful mood swings…" when I argue irrationally with my husband, or if I become confronted with a situation that I don't want to deal with or I feel too lazy to work I ask, "Don't they know I'm pregnant??!!!"
Now in my 22nd week I have more energy, I am no longer nauseous and I feel like myself again, give or take a few crazy days when my hormones seem to go haywire. Having taken this pregnant pause to candidly reflect on my behaviour so far during my pregnancy, I have made the decision to become more disciplined with myself again in order to lead a yogic lifestyle that I enjoy. Without the discipline in my life I find it easy to criticise other people, to dislike other people and to not be as accepting as I am when I follow yogic teachings. I am not the best person that I can be. Yoga makes me the best person that I can be, and it is for that reason that I will become more mindful of myself, so that I can be the best person for my new baby too.
Self study and periods of self reflection are so important in yoga, they allow you to see yourself for who you really are, and give you insights into why you behave in the ways that you do. Pregnant or not, pauses in life are essential for every one of us to catch a glimpse of the real you, recognise who you pretend to be, who you really are and who you would like to become. They are essential in spiritual development and in development of the self. Without these pauses we continue in life, mindlessly wandering down the same path, never questioning our existence or our behaviour towards ourselves and others, or understanding the reasons why we do what we do. Self study allows us to see fears that we are unable to express, one of the main obstacles in our lives as fear paralyses the very best of our intentions. However, by pausing and realising our fears you can then take steps to deal with them effectively and move forward. Therefore, when you get a minute to yourself, have a quick reflection about who you are being today, and is that person the best you, or a poor imitation? If it is the latter, spend some more time really studying yourself and get yourself back onto the path that you are meant to be following, instead of wandering around aimlessly.