By Malvina Kang
The day I found out I was pregnant, I remembered feeling this immense joy. It was close to midnight and in the midst of a Sydney winter. I was elated beyond belief, and I could not quite believe the double lines on the stick I was holding in my hands. I decided to bring my dog out for a walk after receiving this exciting news – I remember grinning to myself with tears in my eyes while trudging through the muddy puddles. Just then, a flash a fear came through me – I realised I knew absolutely nothing about what to do whilst pregnant.
Can I practise yoga? What kinds of foods do I need to avoid? The list of questions came flooding in. I went through a really steep learning curve over the next few weeks, until I was hit by the realisation that it is all actually quite simple. Apart from avoiding the foods most doctors advised against, like alcohol, raw fish and soft cheeses, I realised that I can pretty much eat any and everything available to me. Because I only eat fish and vegetables, I tried to eat as much protein as possible by filling my diet with more beans and green leafy vegetables.
Next, yoga. I trawled Google for information on yoga and pregnancy, but my findings were disparate. Some websites said to completely avoid practising at all costs; others said to not practise in the first three months of pregnancy; while some had completely different ideas. However, the answers presented to me were in a similar vein. It was a constant barrage of NO, NO, NO. Don’t do this, don’t do that, you must avoid this, you must avoid that…
I was all for taking caution, and then I got the idea to look at things from a different perspective. What would it be like if I approached from YES, YES, YES? What if I simply practise what I preached and just listen to what my body needs?
Then, the answer was clear.
I could do whatever I wanted to do, as long as I felt good doing it.
It was the most empowering moment of my pregnancy. I realised that I am strong, that I am powerful, that I am a woman carrying a beautiful being inside of me, and most importantly, that I can do all this with ease and confidence. From that day onwards, I carried my baby with pride and strength and I strongly believe that I passed the same strength and energy to my baby in my womb.
I ate whole foods as much as I could, but I didn’t deprive myself. If I wanted French fries or chocolate, I let myself have the treat and felt great eating it. I continued to practise yoga four to five times a week and loved what it did for my body and my mind. The practice of yoga created space in my body I didn’t think I had; and therefore, it helped create space for me mentally and emotionally.
I simply edited my practice and eliminated any closed twists, any strong core work, stood with my feet hips distance apart for standing poses, and stayed away from hot classes and any belly floor work. I continued doing everything else – vinyasas, arm balances, inversions, balancing poses, backbends… anything I felt good doing on any particular day. Some days, I came in feeling like I could power through the entire class, no problem; some days, I came in feeling like I needed savasana the entire time. I paid the closest attention to how I felt and respected it. It was probably the most intimate time I had ever experienced with my physical body.
Energetically, I stayed away from anyone who came from the negative. People who would say, “You must be having a horrible time being pregnant!” I didn’t want those energies because on a very subtle level, those instilled great fear in me that I didn’t need.
I remember sitting with a friend one day, midway through my pregnancy, and I was gripped with anxiousness, stress and fear. I will never forget her response. She said: “Malvina, this baby will come and he will be fabulous, healthy, beautiful, so why are you feeling this way? Why transmit these energies onto this pure little being while he is in your womb? Instead, why don’t you send love, power and strength to him? Give him that.” Those words will stay with me forever.
Now, my baby is here. He is a growing, strong and rambunctious baby; and he has provided me with the greatest joy. I continue to feel the same intensity of power and strength accrued and learned whilst carrying him in the womb. Having him in my life has in fact given me so much more of everything – energy, love, faith, more passion, intensity, connectedness in my soul and most of all, everything that I am and stand for.
What I Learned Whilst I'm Pregnant
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