Thursday, January 12, 2012

The New Downward Dog: My Yoga Journey

I became familiar with yoga my Junior year of college. I was an Anthropology major at the University of Colorado and probably the only individual in my field who wasn't doing, teaching or studying yoga. One of the perks of the student center was free yoga classes on Thursday mornings in the "sunrise room"- a beautiful glassed in room on the roof of the building. I started waking up at 5AM, jumping on the light rail with my yoga mat and chai tea and was in starting pose as the sun's rays began illuminating the Rocky Mountains. It was idyllic.

Once I grew out of my beginner's class, I took Vinyasa Yoga through the Colorado Art Academy. There I realized there were levels of yoga that could truly make good on their promises- I left class limber, peaceful and happier with humankind.

Fast forward three years and I am in nursing school. Yoga is part of my Integrative Medicine class, where we are learning about complimentary medicine and how to help our patients heal through things like homeopathy, chiropractic, acupuncture and massage. My yoga time has now become clinical and practical.

Two more years and my enormous pregnant belly is making warrior pose very difficult. I know that a calm and flexible body would be an ally during childbirth, so I ignore how ridiculous I look in the cobra pose and continue on. Usually either severe shortness of breath or a strong sensation to pee my pants cut my yoga time short, but God as my witness I was on that mat 3-4 times/week. And both my babes were born in under 4 hours, drug free and natural. Not enough data for conclusive evidence but if I were you and pregnant, I would break out those yoga pants you live in now anyway and do some stretching.

Which brings my yoga journey to yesterday morning. It is grey and rainy, Purslane and Knox are both crabby and a dead car battery and no morning coffee has me wanting to join them in their fussing. I see the day stretching out in front of me like that cave in NeverEnding Story, and I make a decision. Coffee table pushed aside, yoga pants on and mat out. The next 45 minutes are spent doing downward dog over smiley baby boy, trying to lift legs with 24 pounds of resistance hanging on, and giggling through the final relaxation pose. Yoga as endurance sport. And I missed the sunrise room for a minute, but this yoga class was pretty great.


  1. hehe :) miss you and hope your move went as smoothly as a move can be!

  2. Lovely post. I did yoga through both of my pregnancies, too. It was the time of day I cherished most. Like you, my pushing stage was VERY quick with both of my girls -- completely natural home birth. (Of course, my labor was VERY long. ッ But I wouldn't have had it any other way.)