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Tara mantra and Soft-Belly Mindful Breathing Meditation this morning.

Due date is only 33 days ahead, and I’m feeling moments of elation as well as moments of intense fear. Probably very normal.

The mantra can make me very emotional — especially when, at the yoga studio, N. would dedicate it to me and Baby Audrey.

N. also recommended a wonderful meditation book: Guided Meditation, explorations and healings by Stephen Levine. This morning, in Soft-Belly Mindfulness Meditation, the closing words really struck a chord:

In soft belly, there is room for it all.
Room to be born. Room to be healed.
And the breath breathes itself in the vastness.

Audrey is gently moving in that vastness right now. How do I cherish feeling her like this, and yet how much am I looking forward to holding her in my arms. And how scary is the process between the first feeling, and the second one. I know it doesn’t have to be scary, but the unknown always is.

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When I got pregnant — even before I knew I was pregnant — I stopped being able to get up early enough in the morning to do my meditation practice. So my home meditation practice has been on hold since January.

Now that I don’t have to go to work anymore, I can meditate again. And so this morning I started slowly, with about 2 minutes of nadi shodana (difficult considering I’ve got a cold), and the mountain meditation, inspired by Jon Kabat-Zin.

Wow. So difficult to be in the moment! My heart was racing, I was thinking about having to live on 55% of my income as of now and freaking out, I was worrying about work although I shouldn’t worry about it anymore (I mean, they already had a serious candidate to replace me on Friday, after I announced I was leaving on Thursday — I think they can manage without me). Then I was thinking about the mountain that’s described in the meditation. And well, my mountain is associated with a lot of memories, good and bad, and so I was thinking about that…

But then towards the end, the narrator (my teacher, Nicole) starts talking about the impermanence of things, how everything changes, nothing lasts, and in the end, everything will be gone, included myself, and only the mountain will stay. It started getting very emotional, very humbling. Of course I can manage this new, unexpected situation. I have to live with only 55% of my income? So what? We’re a couple, we’re about to become a family. We’ll just have to start managing our finances like a family, rather than like two separate people with two separate incomes and separate expenses. I guess. It’ll be fine. It has to be. We have much more important things coming up.

I can’t even imagine how I would have been dealing with this situation a few years ago, before I started practicing yoga. I was even more of a control freak, even less able to letting go, being in the moment and not worrying about things from the future (and the past!). I know for sure that yoga is helping me accept this situation with much more zen than I would have before. And for the health of this little baby that’s growing inside of me (just two more weeks and we’ll know if it’s a boy or a girl!), I can’t worry about things so much.

Went to bed rather early yesterday (for my standards: around 11:30), but I couldn’t sleep. Didn’t sleep much of all night. I was awake at 6:00 this morning, but instead of getting up and making it to my mat like I had planned, I just stayed in bed for another 90 minutes, hoping I would fall asleep. Which, of course, never happened.

Not a good day for resolutions (no yoga and no breakfast before work)!

Went to work, which was no nearly as bad as I had anticipated. It’s still not the fun of being at home, relaxing and doing yoga every afternoon, but at least everyone I was talking to told me they hated being back at work. Reassuring.

Came home, cooked dinner (quiche and a salad), then did my practice: restorative yoga, routine from my teacher training. Then did a healing meditation (from Nicole’s meditation CD boxset), inspired by Stephen Levine. The meditation lasts 27 minutes; I almost fell asleep on it.

Hopefully, I’ll sleep well tonight and I’ll be able to get up at 6:00 tomorrow.

NaYoPracMo: I’m still in the game (so what if we’re only 3 days into?!)!

Started with 5 cycles of Nadi Shodana, then Nicole’s French version of Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mountain meditation (no matter how much I use English in my daily life, French just comes so much more naturally).

Asana practice: one of my two teacher training monthly routines — the most energic one. Sun Salutations, Urdhva Mukha Vrksasana, Triko, Ardha Chandrasana, Vira I & II, Parsva, Sirsasana, Salamba Sarvangasana, and some poses in between to make the whole thing more fluid. Managed to build a nice sweat, and I can see how much regular practice is really helping me feel more solid in poses I’ve been doing for years. Before even warming up, I can now *almost* touch my heels to the floor in Adho Mukha.

After repeating Adho Mukha Vrksasana over and over when I finally managed to get into the pose (against a wall) a few years ago, I abandoned this inversion to practice Sirsasana (my favorite pose of the past few months). I reintroduced Adho Mukha Vrksasana in my daily practice about 3 weeks ago, and discovered that I was now somehow scared to get into the pose. No idea why, it just doesn’t come as naturally as it used to. I’ve been practicing kicking up into the pose in the middle of the room (with DB to catch me if anything happens — I’m afraid of falling and hurting my back), and I’m scared like I’ve never been scared before. Don’t know why. But at least today I managed to get into the pose twice and stay there for 10 good breaths (the sequence says 2 x 30 seconds). Because I’m afraid of it (and therefore don’t like it), I’ll have to practice this pose more often.

Other pose worth a mention: Salamba Sarvangasana. Difficult pose when you have a spine fusion, and for a mysterious reason, whenever I try to support my lower back with my hands, there’s this excruciating pain in my left wrist. It’s like I can never position my elbow and my hand right. Today, I didn’t get this pain, so I managed to stay in the pose a lot longer than usual.

Back to work tomorrow. The plan is to get up at 6 a.m., practice, have breakfast, and go to work. Not looking forward to the latter. Ugh.

What better way to inaugurate my new yoga blog (my previous one having been inactive for almost 6 months) on January 1st, with my first entry about National Yoga Practice Month: NaYoPracMo.

My yoga blog may have been inactive for a while, but my yoga practice is still very alive — actually more so than ever. But that’s for another post.

For now: Day 1 of NaYoPracMo.

Some prayanama to start with, then 15-minute meditation. Opted to practice with Nicole Bordeleau’s Méditations pour mieux vivre CD (for you anglos out there, sorry, this one’s in French only… and you should be sorry, because Nicole is a fantastic guide!). Fifteen-minute “Silence et sons” (Silence and sounds) meditation… Which turned out being horrible for me today! Less than 10 minutes into the meditation, I felt like I had been sitting there for hours, and my whole body hurts. I was hungry and my stomach started protesting against the lack of food, and all I could think was “I’m hungry, I’m hungry, I’m hungry” and, towards the end of the practice, to the voice coming out of the speakers and keeping me from being able to move out of the position I was in “Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!” I guess that’s what you’d call a bad day for meditation and, unfortunately, those happen.

Then did a gentle “fertility yoga” practice. DB and I are trying to have a baby, and my fertile period is coming up… Though I would help it with a restorative session and long minutes into salamba upavistha konasana, salamba baddha konasana, salamba setu bandha sarvangasana, viparita karani and a 20-minute savasana (which turned out being just as horrible as the meditation).

But hey, I did my practice, and I intend on doing it every day for the next month (and 6 days a week for the next years). Tomorrow, I’ll be working on a more active practice, having pierced the mystery of getting into sirsasana with straight legs and away from the wall very recently… And that’s for another post too!