Coming home

(thoughts after Prenatal Yoga with Kirsten)

Tonight I had the pleasure of taking Kirsten Warner’s Prenatal yoga class at Yo Mama. Since Kirsten and I have been preparing a Prenatal Teacher Training together for the last 7 months, we decided it might be good to drop in on each others yoga classes. Getting there was the usual adventure, involving six other people, and seventeen text messages, to carve out two hours for myself.

Let me preface that these last few weeks have been immensely, overwhelmingly, and unusually stressful. Three babies arrived in our doula practice last week, with only two doulas available for the week, and only one of our doulas available for the weekend (me.)  I attended a phenomenal birth Friday night, went to an amazing (steampunk!) wedding on Saturday, dropped heavily into my bed only to hear the pager go off at 2am. I’ve been feeling the weight of what I have created crashing around me, feeling that it’s all too much for me, and feeling smaller and more stressed than I’ve been since postpartum. At the peak of my stress yesterday, I yelled at my mom, and then cried all the way to Yo Mama, eating a pb and j for dinner in the car and ohm-ing, trying to get ready to teach 11 couples their last childbirth class. It hasn’t been pretty.

So Kirsten’s class was a welcome respite. Kirsten is an Anusara teacher, which commonly uses theming. Tonight’s theme was gratitude. Each person shared something they are grateful for. As each woman shared about her sister, her husband, her child, etc. I was feeling the gratitude for all of those things. I have a husband that I adore, a child who lights up my heart, and family close by to help share the raising of my son. But what I felt most of all, as I sat in that sun-filled room, looking at the trees and the water below, was gratitude for Yo Mama. Gratitude that this idea that I brought here, and built on faith, with a baby in my belly, hoping that mamas would come, is alive and thriving today. The first night we opened, almost three years ago, there were two mamas: Marisa Narog and Steph Kassels (both of which have number two now!!). Marisa had been emailing me, anxiously awaiting the open date. Steph was excited we had yoga after work time. I was just so happy that I wasn’t in the room alone. Tonight, as I looked at the eleven mamas in the room, and looked at one of the best yoga teachers in Boulder teaching the class, my heart filled with joy. One of the student’s mentioned her gratitude was Kelly, one of our other phenomenal teachers, and I felt so much gratitude it kept me smiling through the entire class.

The other thing I felt so grateful for was the Yoga itself. One of our students, Erika, mentioned that when she takes class with Kirsten she feels like a yogi who is pregnant, not a pregnant woman doing yoga. And I felt that as well. My heart and body were more open, more spacious, and filled with the grace that yoga allows. Yoga doesn’t change the contents of our life, but it widens the container. After a class like tonight, my capacity to handle the ups and downs of my human existence feels larger, more available, more steady. And that is essential in the times we live in, perhaps more than ever.

Thank you, Boulder. Thank you, my amazing staff. Thank you to the amazing teachers that make Yo Mama what it is. And mostly, thank you to every mama who comes in the doors and does yoga with us, and tells her pregnant friends to do the same.

I have always been a hard worker, and had a strong vision of what is possible. But this vision would be nothing without all of you.