I’ve never been the type to be super jumpy. But I’ll admit, there was I time I’d get really flustered when the drumming sessions next door were too loud or when the dogs barked incessantly in the backyard (sorry neighbors). Cabinets closing. Mail hitting the bottom of the mailbox outside of our front door. Chairs being pushed away from tables on a hardwood floor. It all got to me...and honestly sometimes it still does.
No, this isn’t because I’m used to “peace and quiet” as a yoga teacher. Actually, if you’re in some of my classes, we encourage laughter, giggling, all the questions. My increased sensitivity to noise has been an unanticipated side effect of giving birth, of having a new baby at home. And, it’s been HARD to deal with. Only now, as our little man approaches seven months old has this started to subside.
I believe that this is the result of anxiety, which is incredibly common amongst new mothers. Couple this aversion to jarring sounds with adjusting to a new body, a whole new way of life, and gosh it can be overwhelming. You may have heard of the baby blues, of postpartum depression, of postpartum anxiety, and let me tell you...it is a REAL thing. If you are going through your own bouts of serious anxiety, maybe you’re sensitive to sounds, too, or you have doubts about how amazing you are as a mama, I hope you know you’re not alone. And, to the women reading this that have walked this path before us, I hope you knew you weren’t alone either during this time in your life.
I’ve written this before, but I’m writing it again. Mamas and friends, yoga saved me. It continues to deliver. When I had a hard time walking in the weeks and months post Bodhi’s birthday, when the mailman dropping off his daily delivery sent me into a fast heartbeat frenzy, when I got so upset at myself for not knowing how to nurse...yoga really helped. Throughout those early weeks, I had the encouragement of my husband to keep meditating, to slowly get into a yoga practice again, and to write everything I was learning down.
I learned a lot. So much, in fact, that I really want to share with any new mother who will listen. Over the next three months, I’ll be sharing a POSTnatal Yoga “Body”shop series to help mothers heal and nurture themselves during the postpartum period. What is the postpartum period? It’s as long as you need it to be! It could be within six months post-birth or a year or six years! At each session, we’ll be covering specific areas of the body to learn how to safely strengthen and heal those muscles, but even more than that, I hope to offer a space of encouragement, a place to practice giving yourself grace, and a community of like-minded friends to schedule get-us-all-out-of-the-house future playdates.
Mamas, I hope you’ll join me for our Postnatal Yoga Bodyshops. And, if you’re not a new mother, I hope you’ll share this with a woman in your life who might need it. As always, I love hearing from you, so if this letter resonated with you, or if you have a story to share, please write. I can't wait to meet with some mamas for our first session on Saturday, February 27!