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.
Too Much on Your Mind? This 10-Minute Meditation Will Help You Work Through It
Use this meditation as a tool to listen to your thoughts and eventually kind peace and calm.
Jessamyn Stanley lets us in on a secret we’ve all been wondering: finding ultimate peace and calm does not exist. Instead, focus on listening to your thoughts and allowing them to be there. Eventually, that chatter will clear and you’ll find a calm and peaceful state. Try this 10-minute meditation for beginners and let us know how you feel after.
See also Tap into Your Authentic Voice with this Sequence From Jessamyn Stanley
Take This 30-Minute Yoga Class the Next Time You're Feeling Tension
Bring the presence of calm off your mat and into your daily life.
Are you experiencing tension in your relationships, at work, or in your family life? This 30-minute yoga practice designed by Susanna Barkataki will help you hold the tension in and instead face your conflict with peace and calm.
This Yoga-Pilates Hybrid Sequence Will Give You the Glutes of Your Dreams
A 7-pose home practice that will give you the glutes of your dreams.
You’ve probably heard it a hundred times: “Strong and healthy glutes make for a strong and healthy body.”
And it’s true. Yet in our modern society, we spend much of our time sitting or doing repetitive forward movements: at our desks, on the sofa, in our cars, and eating our meals. Even our regular yoga or fitness routines tend to focus on strengthening our front-sides, which can then result in overstretched and underused backsides. These habits greatly impact our overall health and balance—not to mention keep us from having tight, toned tushes.
See also Poses for Your Glutes
Think of the glutes as the core of the back body. When firing properly, these large, meaty muscles support our every movement and help our bodies stay in balance. They are essential for good posture and stability. Having these muscles alert and awake will distribute the load out of our joints and low back and into our active musculature. “Waking up” or “firing” the glutes will greatly improve your body’s ability to work properly in every other movement throughout the day.
My favorite sequence for the glutes combines elements of both yoga and Pilates. This sequence gradually awakens these important muscles and even better, can be done at home in just a few minutes.
See also Anatomy 101: Get to Know Your Glute Muscles
Yoga for Glutes: A 7-Pose Home Practice
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