My body feels different.  My body looks different.  Looking at it, it's a whole new terrain, a whole new assortment of textures.  Moving inside it, it holds itself in different ways, there are new patterns in my movement, where there was firmness, there is now softness.  Where there was strength, there is now a memory of it.  But this is my body.  It is strong, it is feminine, it is powerful, it is here.  It has been home to my children and it will continue to be their sanctuary. Mine is the body of a mother.  When a mother carries a baby then gives birth it carries the marks of an incredible journey of change.  One of the greatest changes that can happen to anybody.  A change that happens on a physical as well as an emotional realm.  The journey of a mother is an unbelievably physical and embodied experience.  Your form morphs and changes through pregnancy.  You pass through the crest of the wave that is childbirth for some, other moments in pregnancy for others, facing the unknown and your deepest fears in the process.  The journey continues on the other side, you are forever changed, with your baby at your side.

There is a process of acceptance that happens as you navigate the period after birth.  Your changed body continues to transform over the postpartum period.  For weeks, months, perhaps years.  You might carry and birth another baby and your body transforms again.  Each birth leaving its own unique imprint on your being and your heart.

This process asks of us to embrace change in a mammoth way.  Do you embrace the change that pregnancy, birth and motherhood invites into your life?  Or do you resist it and wish for your previous figure and life back?  Do you ride with the changes and accept that a new rhythm will come?  Or do you use the force of will to fit your new life into the old mould, your new body back into your old jeans?

Many mothers come to yoga to fit back into those old jeans and to try to capture the feeling of their old body.  But what yoga can offer is a far greater gift.  It is the tools to accept things as they are now, to be in this moment with your baby, to ride the wave of change that is inevitable in this life.

My body may be different, and my life may be different, and what I perceive to be who I am may seem different.  But underneath all of that there is a part of me that remains the same.  I can sense it's there.  There's a spark of it.  Yoga can be used to cultivate the acceptance of the change that has happened in our lives as we grow into motherhood.  It can also be a tool to peel back all the layers so that we can find that spark of "who I am", and turn it into a flame.

© 2015 Sandra Wang