Fitness Magazine

Svadhyaya

By Wendiw80 @asouthernyogi
I thought I'd give a little update of where I am, since I haven't blogged recently. I am now almost 22 weeks pregnant and kind of stagnant in my yoga practice.
Svadhyaya
I'm planning on doing a post on Prenatal Yoga soon, so please keep an eye out for that. I went to a Prenatal Yoga class recently, but it was focused so much on stretching which is exactly the opposite of what I need to be doing. So, I haven't been back. I haven't really been even practicing at home because when I do, I get a little pain in the front of my leg and it hurts to walk. My yoga teacher, Karen Noonan, used to always say, it should feel good unless it doesn't. This didn't, so I have stopped. I guess my exercise at this point is chasing around a toddler and picking her up. I used to hate when celebrities said stuff like that because I was like, whatever, but it's true. I actually do get some exercise doing that. I'm not saying it's a crossfit workout or anything, I'm just saying it's not sitting at a desk 10 hours a day. 
I actually feel so much better this pregnancy, which is amazing considering my last pregnancy was so good. It's probably because I'm about 40 lbs lighter so I am not carrying as much weight. I've also been eating a lot healthier. The first pregnancy, I craved and could only eat McDonald's, which I realize is disgusting. This time, it's a lot more veggies, and lean meat. I will confess that yesterday was one of those days though, and I had a frosted lemonade from Chick Fil A and a hot fudge sundae from McD's. I've only been there twice though! I mainly eat at home and I have been craving healthier stuff. 
I have blogged about this before, but I am feeling stagnant in my yoga practice as well as in my teaching. I am inspired in my teaching from my practice, so when I don't have an active practice, it trickles into my teaching. I'm just having to learn how to adjust to the phases of my life, though. Growth isn't always a linear, diagonal path. And really, who's to say I'm not growing. In fact, I'm growing tremendously, but it's more focused in areas off of the mat. One challenge I was facing was a head full of thoughts that was bringing me down. I think a lot, and sometimes, I can create all kinds of drama in my head that just isn't real. I get bogged down in my thoughts and it affects my actions. I'm like a computer who has too many pages open. All of the information gets jumbled and I can't see situations clearly. I felt myself getting emotionally drained, so I made a decision to do something about it. I made a commitment to myself that I was going to read two meditation books in the morning and then journal. I have a little trouble with commitment, so I promised myself that I would focus on two meditation books and journal, every day. I've been doing this for a couple of months now, and it's been amazing the changes I've seen, mainly in my thoughts and actions. These are the two books I'm using now:
SvadhyayaAmazon
SvadhyayaAmazon
Both have been excellent to read in the morning, even if you're not Christian or in recovery! There are so many meditation books out there that are wonderful to help keep you grounded, I'll have to list my favorites one day. Back to my point, the journaling has been really great to get all of the blah out of my head and work through what's bothering me. A friend told me about a little process called R.A.I.N. by Tara Brach. It talks about identifying what is really bothering us, allowing ourselves to feel the emotions surrounding the situation, and coming up with a solution to help us come back to ourselves. Here is a link to Tara's website and more information about the technique. I've done this so many times since I've started this whole process and it's really helped me work through some stuff. The thing is, when a situation in our lives is bothering us, it's almost 100% of the time not related to the present moment. It's some kind of past transgression that's never been fully healed. Each day, we're presented with these little healing opportunities, but it's up to us to dig in and figure it out. It can be quite painful, because many times, it's something we've done to ourselves. That's the point of self study, though. That's how we become better. That's how we learn to love others, through loving ourselves and taking the time to be a better person. Yogis always seem to get so focused on Ahimsa and being vegan, I never hear them talking about self study, Svadhyaya. Svadhyaya is THE most important thing one can do because it's our way of helping the world. Through identifying our pains, our wounds, and fixing them, we can become better people. I can't control what's happening in the Middle East, but I can control whether I'm harming the people in my life. It's very normal and natural to act out sometimes, and we're going to do it because we're human. I have a choice, though, and that choice is to explore where that pain is coming from and do something about it. 
So, that's where I am today. The past two days, I haven't even really had anything to say in my journal, but I'm still writing because I want to stay in that habit!
I have been taking some photos lately, so I'll leave you with one of my most recent favs. Thanks!
SvadhyayaSouth Carolina Botanical Gardens
Wendi

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