Miscarriage is an incredibly traumatic part of the child-bearing journey for many women. Here’s how yoga can help you reconnect to your body if you’ve suffered this loss.
It took another person growing inside of to listen to my body. Then I lost the baby and it felt like my body lied. I didn’t know what to believe anymore.
As a yoga teacher, I encourage people to trust their bodies every day. Yet before I got pregnant, I didn’t always listen to my body as deeply as I should’ve. I overrode cravings for meat when my iron was low and woke up too early when I desperately needed sleep. I ignored fullness signals and had that extra cookie, and ignored starvation signals when watching my weight. The minute there was another life on the line—inside me—all of that changed immediately. My body and baby were boss, and I was their faithful servant.
See also Yoga After Miscarriage: A 6-Pose Healing Practice
From the moment those two pink lines showed up on the test, I knew this journey would be fragile. With every day that I was joyful and excited, I was also terrified. We know life is out of our control, but never more than when you are growing another person inside of you. Yes, you can take care of yourself, eat the right foods, and be smart about your choices, but ultimately the decision of whether that baby sees the light of day is not in your hands. And because you have never wanted anything more in your whole life, it is the scariest feeling to be somewhat out of control.
So, I hung onto the things I could control. I listened to the people who reassured me that being nauseous and having pregnancy symptoms were a sign of a healthy baby. My symptoms became an anchor—something to hold onto. I would poke at my breasts to make sure they were still sore and test my nausea by waiting just a minute or two longer than I should to eat. I would check the toilet paper for blood, even in the dead of night. I would listen deeply to any churn of my tummy, trying to differentiate digestion from cramps. Online sites and friends regularly reassured me, “If you are not bleeding or cramping, everything is fine!” But everything was not fine.
See also Mourning a Miscarriage
When we saw the empty sac on the ultrasound screen where a fetus should have been, I was not only sad, I also felt deceived and confused. How could my body lie to me? The part that I had the hardest time understanding was my body was telling me one thing, while something completely different was actually happening.
If we are lucky enough to get pregnant again, how will I ever know the baby is OK? This is where miscarriage can be incredibly isolating. You feel like you have nothing to hold onto, nothing anchoring you. This is also where miscarriage can be an opportunity to connect to something bigger. It is a time to come together with your sisters, to rekindle your faith in the universe’s plan, and most importantly, to reconnect with yourself.
See also Finding Acceptance and Healing Through Yoga
Now, I’m working on repair— physically repairing after the loss of life, and personally repairing my relationship with myself. I am working to reignite my faith in my body’s wisdom, remembering that the baby did not continue to develop because there was something wrong. I am also choosing to focus on the fact that my body got to experience creation, however brief the amount of time. I don’t know if we can do it again. I hope so. But I do know that for a few moments of my own precious life, I got to experience the gift of creation.
I found this sequence incredibly healing and helpful after my loss—a way to say, “thank you” and reconnect to my body. I hope it does the same for you.
7 Poses to Do When You Have a Cold and Can’t Breathe Through Your Nose
Bonus: They’ll help you feel better now, and boost your immunity so you stave off more sickies
‘Tis the season for the sniffles. A cold, stuffy or runny nose, itchy throat—all of these things may have you thinking you shouldn’t practice yoga, but yoga can actually have healing benefits that’ll help you feel better faster.
Practicing yoga when you’re not feeling well can actually help you fight your illness by boosting your immunity. The best part? I’ve created this sequence so it includes supported, restorative postures that require very little energy. Once you set yourself up with the appropriate props, you can just relax and let the pose do the work.
See also 10 Yoga Poses and Self-Care Practices to Do Right After You Catch a Cold
These postures will help open and stretch your intercostal muscles, which support the lungs, making breathing easier. The gentle inversions, Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose and Supported Shoulderstand, will help to get your blood and lymph fluids moving to naturally assist your own body in healing.
Try this home practice the next time you’re under the weather:
Cut Through Mental Fog with These Two Common Breathing Practices
They’re effective on their own, but when you combine them, your energy shifts—and it happens fast!
Craving change but feeling too stuck, sluggish, or restless to take aim? Join John Douillard, founder of LifeSpa.com, and Larissa Hall Carlson, Ayurveda Yoga Specialist, for Ayurveda 201: Six Weeks to Transformation and Bliss Through Ayurvedic Psychology. In this new online course, you’ll experience: unique yoga practices; inspiring discussions backed by science; and recipes, herb recommendations, and a short, gentle cleanse. The results? Clarity, brilliance, and balance so you can create lasting shifts in your life and well-being. Learn more and sign up today!
You’ve probably practiced Nadi Shodhana Pranayama (Alternate-Nostril Breathing). You’ve likely done Kapalabhati Pranayama (Shining-Skull Breathing). But have you ever tried them… together? Here, teacher Larissa Hall Carlson, who co-designed our upcoming course, Ayurveda 201, with John Douillard, shows you how to blend these two powerful breathing practices to dissolve stress and cultivate clarity.
Watch also John Douillard on Why Burning Fat Is Key to Mental Clarity
This Yoga Sequence Is Perfect for Days When Nothing is Going Right
Wish you could stay under the covers but have to get up and adult? Do this home practice first.
We all have those days when we’d rather lay in bed and cry than get up and do anything, right? But the fact of the matter is that it’s almost always better to do something than nothing. When sadness, depression, resentment, or fear appear, it’s usually about something that has happened in the past or some worry about the future. It’s rarely about something happening in the present moment. Which means that forcing yourself to get out of bed and onto your yoga mat can work wonders when it comes to resetting your psyche and changing your outlook on life.
See also 6 Simple Ways to Clear Negative Energy
I designed this yoga sequence to help you get through a rough patch. It’s gentle and kind, and will inspire you to connect to your breath and get into your body—both of which can help to anchor you into the present moment. When I’m feeling blue, this particular practice has a way of bringing light to my darkest corners. I hope it helps you, too.
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