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Yoga after pregnancy can make motherhood the most beautiful and fulfilling journey
"With yoga, you become sensitive towards your body and your baby's needs," says Meghana Kalta
Birth is not only about making babies. It’s about making mothers. Such is the feeling of Meghana Kalta, mother to a beautiful one-year-old daughter named Tarini, which signifies Goddess Durga. Here, Meghana shares with Shradha Sharma her experience of being a new-born mother.
When I looked into the eyes of my new-born daughter, I felt as though I was born again. There was innocence, a hope, a light on her face, reflecting me through her. Motherhood is the most beautiful and a fulfilling phase in a woman’s life and I’m truly enjoying this journey.
A sudden change
After the birth of Tarini, everything changed all of a sudden. It was a 360-degree change altogether. I was no more just me, there was so much more and I felt extended. People‘s attention also started shifting to the baby as they took more care of her. The initial 40-day period was quite difficult as during that time, I felt weak, both physically and emotionally, and wanted the same love and attention as my baby. During this phase, some women are not very strong and they get irritated on petty things as they feel that they are the ones who are suffering physically and they are not able to accept this new change in their life.
Yoga makes recovery quicker
I had a C-section delivery and though there was physical pain, yoga and meditation played a significant role in relaxing my mind and helping me settle within. It gave me immense support in handling the emotions I was going through and develop a strength that enabled me to take care of myself as well as my baby. It is usually advised by doctors to avoid yoga postures for the first six months after delivery. As such, I started with meditation and pranayama as soon as I was comfortable to sit. Even while lying down, I would meditate for a while or practice yoga Nidra. After delivery, I continued Nadi Shodhan pranayama and Mudra pranayama throughout for the first six months. All this helped me recover faster and better. After about six months, I started with a few gentle yoga poses and gradually moved on to resuming my Padma Sadhana and Sun Salutation practices.
Yoga helps you balance your ‘old’ and ‘new’ life
Motherhood is the start of a new life and I often hear women complaining that they hardly find time for themselves once the baby comes in, and that they miss their “old life”. I would say, even though a lot changes, you can still balance things out. And yoga helps you do this! Now some people ask, “where is the time for yoga amidst all this?” But for me, it was my yoga practice post-delivery which made time for other things! Now I’m able to handle my work, home and Tarini quite well and even find time to do my regular yoga practice. My warm-ups before yoga postures happen when I run behind her in the whole house or play with her, making her sit on my knees! Then while she sleeps, I make time for my Sun Salutations and Padma Sadhana. There are times when I tend to miss these but I don’t feel bad or guilty about it. Each day is different but I still try and be regular as much as possible.
One thing I don’t miss is Sudarshan Kriya – it just takes me 20 minutes and I find that time when Tarini sleeps. All these practices through the day help refresh and energize me. It becomes difficult to keep one hour aside daily for yoga when you are a mother, so I do these practices as and when I get time. With yoga and meditation, I’m able to take care of my health and stay calm.
Say goodbye to post-delivery weight gain with yoga
It’s a tough time for most women after pregnancy who have to deal with its after-effects, such as weight gain, sagging of muscles, joint pain, backache, fatigue, hormonal imbalance, high blood pressure, and weakness due to some deficiency. For me also it was not easy to get back in shape and lose all the extra weight that I had gained around my belly. This flab had also started straining my knees and legs. With regular yoga practices (Padma Sadhana and Surya Namaskar) after six months of my delivery, I was able to lose weight! Also, I would say, since I started practicing yoga regularly a little while before I got pregnant, I did not have too many health issues, either during pregnancy or after. Yoga and meditation made life so much easier for me, despite a C-section.
Reliving my own childhood
Motherhood is meant to be celebrated and enjoyed and you can only do this when you are in the present moment, with a calm state of mind and a healthy body. When you make yoga and meditation a part of your daily life, you become sensitive to your body as well as your baby’s needs. I am so much better able to understand what Tarini needs, when and how. I enjoy her gestures, her smile and the naughty things she does every now and then. Every mother lives through this phase but the intensity of enjoyment is higher when you meditate or do other form of yoga. You are actually able to connect with the tenderness and innocence in you and relive your childhood years. It’s like growing up each day with your baby!