Yoga : Constantly pushing your body for that one bit more.

I have been off from blogging for a couple of weeks now. Out on a vacation, and then, lot of catching up to to once I got back, so blog took a backseat. But blogging has been a significant part of 2013 for me, and I would like to start 2014 with a post on something which has once again been a significant part of my life over the last three years. Yoga

I have been regularly practicing yoga for over three years now. This is pretty much my first long term engagement with yoga, other than a brief 5 month period a few years ago. And I almost accidentally got into it, because I sought the yoga class on the advice of my gynecologist who felt that it could aid in conception. I dont think she really meant that advice very seriouslly, she just mentioned it in passing, and it was pretty much the only advice of hers, which I followed. I vetoed pretty much all her other treatment options. 

I had always been told that I have a flexible body and would be good in yoga. But despite flexibility in some parts, yoga taught me how inflexible some of my other muscles had become.  But now I think after 3 years, I am fairly decent at it.

And the thing is yoga is pretty much the only physical exercise I am even halfway good at. I was always a clumsy person (still am), hated attending sports day in school, never won a single prize in sports. Even activities like aerobics or fast dancing, which required speedy and co ordinated movements were totally out of my range. Maybe because yoga is about attaining and holding a pose, rather than gracefully moving in step between different poses.

Yoga again is about constant improvement and setting and crossing your own limits. There is never an external yardstick. You just have to keep perfecting your pose, twisting your body a little more than you used to, holding onto a position a second longer than you used to. This challenge to yourself and the gradual pushing of boundaries is probably true for any physical exercise regimen, but as I said before, yoga suited me better than others.

Yoga is a deep science, and I dont pretend to understand its spiritual core. I only know that it is one of the activities during the day, where I feel good about myself. In my initial months, I was obsessed with it, with the thought of conception. Then I started reading up on the whole fertility yoga thing and was stuck by an experience which a person shared. She spoke of trying out yoga to help her conceive and how doing yoga helped her become more open and happy with the idea of adoption. She writes of eventually conceiving right around the time, when she decided to file her adoption papers.

I dont claim that yoga helped me in my decision to adopt. My desire to adopt and my conviction that it was a good step and my deep misgivings about a lot of fertility treatments predated my involvement with yoga. But this anecdote stuck me, because at a time when fertility treatment was pushing more and more women to continuously instrumentalize their bodies in order to fulfill their desires (or social expectations) to become mothers, here was someone talking of fertility treatment in a totally different light.

I dont know if yoga helped me become a mother, but I do know that in the period after we adopted our daughter, it has definitely played a major role in helping me stabilize as a mother. Mostly because it remains the one activity, which I do for myself  and which I do well.

And I do know that there are two interests i want to pass on to my daughter : My love for reading and my love for yoga. Already, when she visits me in class or imitates a yoga pose I do, or chants om, I can imagine a future in which we practice yoga together.

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