I had postnatal depression 10 years ago. My daughter was 4 months old as I begrudgingly went back to my corporate job. Years of putting myself last, combined with unhealthy lifestyle habits lead to a break down, when the sleepless nights and brand new expectations of motherhood took their toll.
My break down was my break through.
My break down lead me towards the path of yoga and a passion to teach mothers that it is imperative to put themselves first.
What I teach can be very unnerving to many people. We live in a society where we do everything for others, because we are labelled selfish if we do anything for ourselves. Perhaps this may have been true when we were living as traditional societies. Every action we took was for the betterment of the tribe.
Unfortunately, we live such isolated lives, where most families are scattered around the globe. Taking care of ourselves is a matter of survival for the tribe. If we reach a breaking point within ourselves, our children will literally die. There is no tribe to catch us anymore.
Yes, our children may still be fed and clothed, but they will be living with a mother who is deeply unwell. This state of unwell can manifest as health problems, depression or just an underlying sense of anxiety.
These children are dying from a lack of proper connection to someone who is not able to love in the way that she was meant to. You may have heard that infants in ICU who are not touched, end up dying. This is the same for our children. If they are not touched by our deepest love and by the real essence of who we are, they end up living a half life. Yes, they are fed, they are clothed, but they can feel that something is missing. And they end up living in a half daze, hearts closed, much the way we are – merely surviving, not thriving.
A yoga practice is an invaluable tool for a mother to start reclaiming parts of herself that may need love and nurturing.
A daily yoga practice is the most selfless thing a mother can do for herself.
It starts with the breath. The breath is the connection between the body and the mind. It has the power to bring us into the present moment.
And coming into the present moment is yoga.
Start with the breath. Notice the life force flowing through you. Notice that in this moment, all is well.
And allow yourself the gift of loving yourself first.