Rebuilding a Practice
by Emma Wiadrowski
Following the birth of my first child I watched as Salamba Sarvangasana (shoulder stand) fell out of my practice. My first shoulder stand after birth felt ungrounded. But this wasn’t unexpected. I was confident that in time my yoga practice would return to me my old pose. But as time passed I found that shoulder stand was often missing from my day, and my old pose was becoming a distant memory.
It was clear that many of the obstacles between me and shoulder stand stemmed from the new demands on my time. Getting on my yoga mat was a challenge. At times it seemed I would finally make it to shoulder stand only to hear the soft noises of my little person waking. But it wasn’t only the balancing act of finding time.
I longed to move my stiffening body. The quiet of shoulder stand didn’t feed that desire, and frustratingly only reminded me of how tight my shoulders were becoming. I also wondered if at one level I was avoiding shoulder stand as it reminded me of the repair my body required. In my actions I could see that preference was rearing its head, and with this reflection I committed to find time for Salamba Sarvangasana each day.
‘The yogic journey is becalmed in the doldrums. If there is no wind in our sails, the only way out is to row.’ B. K. S. Iyengar, Light on Life, p. 58.
By this time, Yoga had become just another chore I needed to get done, and my motivation to practice was suffering. So it was a great relief to find that my newfound discipline, along with the question surrounding my old sarvangasana, revived the investigative and experimental qualities within my practice. It was a joy to once again become enthralled within a practice which in many ways was so different to that before motherhood.