tags: ashtanga pregnancy, Ashtanga/pregnancy project, Mysore, Pregnancy, Sharath
I like having pregnant people in my class. I like that they have to break all the rules. They get to bring water in, and I always shuffle students around so that they get the cool spot by the door. Often the cold wind created by leaving the door open in the middle of winter makes the room unbearably cold for everyone else – but no one says shit. And I think that is sort of funny and great. I like that they modify and skip poses, and the people beside them are extra paranoid about bumping into them. I also sort of love that the pregnant people breeze through this luxury like it has been that way for them.
Just to be clear, and this is not intended to be a story about how I walked five miles to school everyday in my bare feet, Sharath never gave me a good spot in the room when I was pregnant in Mysore. It vexed me to NO END. Like, WHY are you punishing me by giving me a spot right next to the swinging/baby smashing door of the men’s stinky bathroom? I never asked, but I am sure I rolled my eyes as I waddled over in a huff.
The other day, I was driving on a busy, fast-moving road and a pregnant woman started to jaywalk. She walked slowly, with her eyes fixed on the other side. As she approached the left lane of cars whizzing by, she held out her hand. She held out her hand in a “talk to the hand” fashion. The cars immediately stopped. And she made her way across.
When women tell me that they have 100 children, I sort of understand. I would also like to direct traffic with the wave of my hand, so I know why you would want to have that power over and over again. I suppose the swollen feet, the weird poos and the (yikes) baby you get at the end of it are not as enticing to me. But the ability to shut down rush hour traffic and still be a bit of a huff? Awesome.
Because I write this blog and I teach, and - well – I have waddled next to the men’s bathroom in Mysore and busted out a practice, I often get asked about what a woman should do in her practice when she gets pregnant. Here is my top three suggestions:
1. Sleep: Oh I know it isn’t a bank that you can just deposit in for a month and then withdraw everything and leave it empty for two (twenty) years. But do you really want to be thinking about how you COULD have slept and didn’t? I am saying this like I am going to really change a first time mom’s mind about how little she will sleep. But whatever, that is why you have another kid. So you can really sleep less and think about what an idiot you are.
2. Eat Out: Have you ever taken a 6 week-old child to dinner. It is easy! They just sleep. If you made the mistake of not going out to eat while pregnant you have a couple months to do that before you pick your restaurants based on the play area, or for us, whether or not they have a fish tank.
3. Talk on the phone with someone other than your mother: When the phone rings, my son says, “Grandma!” Yup. It be like that.
I have other suggestions, but you will have to come to class. Or read the book I am co-writing – which should be out in umm…. 2060.
Sometimes I feel the urge to say to pregnant ladies, “just you wait.” But then I remember people saying that to me and wanting to show them the pregnant traffic-halting hand of doom.
Stan: I am so tired!
Some mom: Just you wait. You are going to be so tired.
Stan: Practice is hard when you are pregnant,
Some other mom: Just wait until you have a baby. That is really hard.
Stan: I can’t believe how little time I have.
Another mom: Just wait, you won’t have any time for the next fifty years!
You know what? I did wait. And you know what else? All you bitches were right. But I am going to do my best to not utter those words. No one wants to hear how much it is going to suck. And really, it mostly doesn’t suck at all. Mothers, I am asking you to bite your tongue when those “just wait’ words come bubbling up. Let’s enjoy how the pregnant people part traffic and students with a wave of their arms. Smile as they sip water while we have to bind in Marychasana D.
When the baby comes out we will get to say, “Enjoy every minute!”