Monday, 29 July 2013

365 Handstands- Week 2

Second week in and loving it! Trying to get creative with handstands and photos to mix it up a little and keep it exciting. My days are usually spent alone with Mio which means handstand practice mostly happens in the house and away from the cold Winter outdoors.

Day 8

Day 9

Day 10

day 11- back bend handstand using the wall helps to open the chest and stretch between the shoulder blades- perfect after having a baby in a carrier all day.

Day 12

Day 13- practising scorpion handstand against the bookshelf

Day 14- loving fish eye photos and scorpion handstands

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Living in the Moment

Parenting presents us with challenges and at times can really test our ability to stay cool, calm and collected. Just as we hit the 5-6 week mark our beautiful calm relaxed and easy going baby who never cried now awake to the world around her started becoming over stimulated easily and having trouble falling asleep in the evenings and then throughout the day. No longer a newborn we are now embarking on new stages of development which inevitably will bring new challenges (for her and us)- the first being this over stimulation and trouble settling. While I consider myself incredibly blessed as I am yet to experience this so called lack of sleep new parents are supposed to experience, at times I feel tired and after a long day of holding a baby close to me I want nothing more than to have a hot shower and do a bit of yoga and enjoy the calm quiet of the evening while my baby sleeps next to me. At the moment this doesn't always happen exactly as I would like which presents challenges for me, particularly when Dave is not home to help with dinner and India's bedtime routine and as a pair of cuddly arms for Mio while I have a shower.
In the times that I feel challenged I am thankful that I have my yoga practice (with all its infinite wisdom) to fall back on. The thing I have gained most from my yoga practice is the importance of living in the moment. Just as it is important to live in the moment and breathe through challenging yoga poses, it's important to breathe through challenging moments in our life.
We need to live fully in each moment no matter how uncomfortable. Rather than focusing on how much we would rather be doing something else we need to focus on embracing the moment and being there as a steady rock for our babies. Being anxious and unsettled with your mind elsewhere will do nothing to help your baby settle. Yogic breathing techniques can help to keep you calm and centred in those challenging moments. Breathing deep into your belly slowly in and out gives you something to focus on when your crying baby needs to be held close. There will be times when it seems that your baby will never settle but it's important to remember that your baby will settle and that nothing lasts forever, and that if nothing else through calm breathing you have been there fully for your baby who really needs you.

Monday, 22 July 2013

365 Handstands

I've had this challenge on my mind since the last few weeks of my pregnancy and I've been keen to take it on but knew it would be best to wait until after the birth and after those first few weeks when my body was going through huge changes and slowly returning to it's pre-pregnancy state.

It's interesting to explore finding balance again after pregnancy and compare it to inversions with a 39 week baby belly. I feel my balance already improving even in the few days since I started.

So here begins my handstand-a-day challenge, I'm looking forward to exploring the changes it brings to my yoga practice and the balance it brings to my life in the next 12 months.

This week I wanted to focus on building some strength as well as finding balance so I found that making use of the wall was great for extending my up-side-down time.

Day 1- celebrating six weeks postnatal

Day 2- a quick bit of yoga while Mio sleeps

Day 3- bed time handstand

Day 4- building strength using the wall

Day 5- already finding a new level of balance

Day 6- a sunny winter outing with my girls

Day 7- I'm finding a lot more strength and balance in my tuck handstand (something I couldn't practice with a pregnant belly!)

Wednesday, 17 July 2013


I'm a huge fan of fresh juices but I must admit that I do go through phases when I don't make juices because I forget or don't feel like washing the juicer afterwards! So now I'm coming back into a phase of making juices nearly everyday. Juices are perfect when you need some real food but you are too busy with a baby to prepare a meal. Breastfeeding can be a drain on your vitamin and mineral stores but having a fresh juice everyday can help to ensure that you and bub are getting everything you need to stay well.

My new favorite juice is beetroot, carrot, orange and ginger. These ingredients are all pretty cheap and keep well so you can buy them in bulk and use them through the week.

1/2 beetroot
2 carrots
1 orange
1 small piece of ginger

Yoga Cleansing Practices: Tongue Scraping

Yoga is more than just a physical practice that you do on a mat in a class full of students, it's a holistic practice that involves the mind, body and spirit, and involves cleansing practices designed to rid the body of ama (toxins). Tongue scraping, is my favorite cleansing practice, it's been a daily habit since I discovered it and is an amazing way to start the day. On those days when I really don't want to get out of bed I have found that after tongue scraping I feel like my head is clear and I have energy to start the day, and even when I wake up feeling great I notice an extra energy kick after tongue scraping.
Tongue scrapers can be found in health food shops for around $10- $15 or if you are lucky enough to have an Indian grocer nearby like me you can grab one for $2.50. You can also just use a spoon to scrape your tongue but I think a tongue scraper works better.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013


So now that we've hit the six week mark and I've recovered from my chest infection I was very keen to get back into yoga again. I'm aware that my practice will change considerably from my prenatal months and it's important to embrace this change. Postnatal yoga provides the perfect opportunity to bring yoga into all aspects of your daily life. In the weeks since the birth I have focused on my breathing and being calm and centred as I know this has a positive impact on my baby (and myself). When practicing yoga with a baby around, it's important to let go of all your attachments to what your yoga practice was before your baby was born. Chances are, you will not be able to enjoy an extended period of time interruption free. Your practice can be spread throughout the day whenever you have a few minutes to spare, it won't be what you were used to doing but it will help you to live and breathe yoga away from the confines of the yoga mat.

I'm a bit of an inversion junkie so I was very excited to be upside-down again. Mio happily lay beside me on her blanket while I explored what it's like to be upside-down without a baby in my belly again.

Six Weeks

Six weeks already! I have totally recovered from my chest infection and I'm enjoying these warm winter days with my baby. She's growing and changing everyday and she's lifting her head when she lies on her tummy. She has been a bit restless in the evenings but she calms almost instantly when I hold her close and breathe slow and deep.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Falling Ill

I eat well, exercise and take good care of myself. I generally don't get sick and if I do it's usually fairly mild and short lived. However, there will no doubt be times in your life that despite your best efforts to eat well and stay healthy you will need the aid of modern medicine. For me this was one of those times. After getting what to me felt like the worst cold I had ever had I thought that things wouldn't get worse and that I was on the mend only to discover that just when I thought I was getting better I began to slowly get worse as the days went by. I tried everything to kick the cold- even garlic in my socks to draw out the illness. I developed a cough that would leave me gasping for air and any time I left the comforting warmth of the loungeroom I would struggle to breathe. I couldn't breathe when I lay down which meant that I didn't sleep for three nights. In the early hours of the third night without sleep I had resolved to go to the doctor when they opened. Each breath I took was laboured and I had to concentrate intensely on getting air into my lungs. I had a coughing fit and it felt like my lungs completely closed over, I couldn't breathe. Dave woke suddenly and jumped out of bed knowing that he had to call the ambulance (Mio slept peacefully through it of course). The ambulance arrived and I had slightly more control over my breathing again but I knew now that I couldn't do this on my own anymore and I needed the hospital. After a couple of hours in emergency and being loaded up with more drugs my body had ever seen I was told that I'd need to stay in for a few days. At first the hospital said that I couldn't have Mio with me and of course I was hysterical. The ward then said I could have her with me from 8am-10pm but I would need to express milk or send her off with formula over night. The staff said they could organise a breast pump and I felt a little more at ease. Hours went by with no breast pump and I decided that I was not going to let Mio leave my side, having her beside me was important for both of us. I was weak and exhausted but with an almost constant supply of drugs to help me breathe I knew I was where I needed to be.
India went off to my brothers house and Dave brought me food (because for starters, hospital food is bad, but more importantly they could get my diet right (vegetarian, no gluten, no soy) which meant that I would have starved without Dave). Late that night it was agreed upon that Mio could stay if Dave stayed, this was great news except that Dave had to sleep in a chair that night.
The next morning I insisted Dave go an get a couple of hours sleep and then return with some food. The nurses were rather annoyed with him but as far as I was concerned, I managed to take care of Mio (who, in reality, does little more than sleep) when I couldn't breathe at home so taking care of her while resting in the hospital bed was no big deal. We finally got my meals sorted which meant that Dave didn't need to leave (one meal in two days that I could actually eat is pretty appalling, you'd think a hospital would have food allergies at the top of their catering). The nurses also sorted out a bed for Dave meaning we could all rest.
My chest infection responded really well to all the medication so I was switched to oral meds and sent home on the third day. I am now making every effort to eat well and take extra probiotics so that the antibiotics and other drugs I'm on for the next couple of days don't mess up my own and Mio's digestive systems. I came across a great blog post on recovering from antibiotics

Modern medicine has it's place and I'm glad it was there for me when I clearly needed it. It was a shock to me that I got that sick and the timing was pretty bad so it's nice to be on the mend again. I'm looking forward to getting back into the blissful daze of baby land and enjoying my beautiful family.

Friday, 5 July 2013

1 Month Old

So one month since I gave birth has already passed and Mio continues to be a perfectly calm little baby. She sleeps well at night waking about 3 times to feed. She doesn't need to be rocked to sleep and she is happy to have loads of nappy free time. She's such a beautiful little girl.

I will be starting my yoga routine again soon now that my body has had a chance to rest and recover from the birth. I'm looking forward to being upside-down again! My sacroiliac joint problem has been fixed, it was caused by Mio being in an odd position in. All I needed was to loosen the tense muscles in my hips and do some gentle stretches and it very quickly fixed itself.

Sleepy milky daze

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Four Weeks

This past week has been pretty rough. India got really sick and barely ate anything for 4 days which meant that her body just wasn't getting what it needed to help her get better and in turn it just made her get sicker. She has never been that sick in her entire life, it turned from a bad cold into conjunctivitis and an ear ache (both things she has never had before) we had to resort to pain killers (another thing we have never needed to do) just to stop the pain and tears. Despite taking olive leaf extract and vitamin C and eating really well I ended up getting sick too, I was so sick that I spent an entire day in bed- I don't think I have ever done that. Dave had a film job in Geelong to do so he was away overnight, taking care of my sick self and two children was not much fun. Mio was great through it all she probably liked that I spent so much time snuggled up in bed with her. I thought she was going to get away with not catching what we had (especially since I was taking so much olive leaf extract and vitamin C) but late on Sunday night she started crying (again, this is something that just doesn't happen) and I knew that she must have finally come down with it. She spent all of Monday sleeping in my arms, there were parts of the day when she was happy but I could tell she was pretty sick and it was really upsetting because I knew exactly how she was feeling. I can't remember India really getting sick as a baby (at least not while she was so little) so it made me feel so terrible. I've been keeping her close and she seems a whole lot better already even after just a day of being sick. Dave thought he was going to get away with not getting sick but has just come down with it too. Never have our whole family been sick at the same time, this week has been a whole lot of firsts for us and I'm not happy about it. This bug really floored me, I'm still getting over it, I'm hoping that with Dave and India both on holidays now we can get out and enjoy these beautiful winter days we've been having.