Rox Does Yoga

Yoga, Wellness, and Life

Reading: Yoga Journal September 2012 issue September 27, 2012

Filed under: yoga,yoga lifestyle — R. H. Ward @ 1:21 pm
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Now that my maternity leave is over and I’m trying to get back in the swing of my normal life, I’ve made a start on the stack of Yoga Journal issues I have saved up, in the interest of getting my yoga groove back and getting back in the spirit of teaching again at some point. The September 2012 issue of YJ has a nice photo of India.Arie on the cover – it’s always interesting to see what musicians are also yogis.

In this issue, I really enjoyed the basics article focusing on downward-facing dog. This core pose is such an integral part of almost all yoga traditions, but it seems like it’s rarely taught in detail. I’ll be tearing out this article to review more carefully later . I’ve done some reading on down dog in the past, but it’s such a crucial pose that I want to have as many tools for teaching it as possible!

I’m also tearing out the section on smoothies. F and I used to make a smoothie every morning; with the baby, we’ve gotten away from it a bit, and I’d like to get back to having some liquified fruit in my diet. This article had good tips for incorporating green ingredients like avocado and kale into our repertoire, which is exciting!


Postnatal Yoga September 24, 2012

Filed under: yoga — R. H. Ward @ 1:53 pm
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My body seems to have bounced back quickly from my pregnancy and birth, but there are definitely still some sore spots and changes to contend with. My hips are very tight, and my abs are still weak. I also notice that my calves are still quite tight – during my pregnancy my calves would get so tight that I’d get leg cramps at night, and that tightness seems to be persisting. I’m also trying to build up some arm strength again after taking a break from more strenuous asanas and exercise towards the end of my pregnancy.

As I try to rebuild my yoga practice, I’ve been naturally gravitating towards asanas that will stretch my hips. Pigeon feels great, and it’s nice to be able to rest on the floor again! I also love cobbler pose, especially because I can hold and play with my baby in this posture. I practice downward dog to help open my calves, and plank pose with repeated vinyasas to build back my abs and arm muscles. I’m also finding that standing postures like the warriors work all of these areas.

These are some of the asanas I’ve been focusing on, but I was also curious about what asanas are recommended for postnatal yoga practice. Here are a few resources I found:

Postnatal Yoga: Conditions and Cures for Both Mama and Babe ( I like this article because it gives a few suggestions for simple poses that might be helpful to your baby too. I know I put YogaBaby into knees-to-chest and it seemed to feel good to her.

Postpartum Yoga for New Moms ( This article discusses some of the same postures as the YJ article, but it adds a few more strenuous asanas as well, good for when Mom’s feeling a little stronger, and a few different postures to try for strengthening the abdominals. I love practicing cobra again!

It looks like Shiva Rea has a few popular DVDs for new moms. Her Postnatal Yoga DVD has received some good reviews on Amazon, but it should be noted that the DVD doesn’t include any “mom and baby” postures. Rea addresses this in her new DVD, Mama & Baby Yoga. This looks to be brand-new for 2012!


Gratuitous YogaBaby Photo September 20, 2012

Filed under: Miscellaneous — R. H. Ward @ 4:06 pm

In lieu of actual substantive content, please enjoy this photo of my Buddha baby chillin’ peacefully.

YogaBaby at 8 weeks


Back in the saddle September 17, 2012

Filed under: checking in,reflections,yoga lifestyle — R. H. Ward @ 1:00 pm
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I haven’t blogged much in recent weeks because I’ve been preparing to go back to work. Last week was my first full week back at the office, and already I feel swamped, overwhelmed, snowed under by the work. My colleagues did their best to watch over my projects all summer, keeping things going and responding to author queries, but I’m now responsible for getting things to the next level. I’ve also had to travel for a business meeting already: just from Philly to DC, and only for a quick day trip and lunch meeting rather than an overnight, but still. All this while I’m still trying to adjust to pumping breast milk and lugging my Medela InStyle everywhere (including to DC); working out transportation/commuting issues now that my husband F, temporarily home with YogaBaby, can’t just run me to the train station; crying every night when I see my sweet little one look up at me and realize I just missed a whole day of her brand-new life. Discovering, in short, what it means to be a working mother.

The main thing on my mind lately is time. Time has separated itself into two distinct categories: time with my daughter, and time doing anything else. The “anything else” is often necessary (like working is necessary for keeping the little one in diapers), but I’m finding that I want to keep anything not involving the baby to a minimum. When we’re talking about shortening my commute time (by getting me a bike so I don’t have to walk to the train station – which by the way is really fun) or taking a 30-minute lunch so I can get home earlier, that’s one thing, but how do I prioritize yoga and meditation? They’re things I need for myself, to be a healthy person and therefore a good mom, but how do I take that time away from my child when I already by necessity have to be away from her so much? And how do I justify healthy social things – meeting a girlfriend for a drink, or going to a lecture at the library or museum – when first of all I feel like I barely see my kid, and secondly I’m not making enough time for yoga and meditation? It all has to fit in somewhere, right? How? (That’s not a rhetorical question. If you have the answer, please tell me!)

I think, in the near future, that I’m going to try to revisit what the yogic scriptures say about time and reflect on what that may mean in my situation. I’ll post here when I can, and only when it won’t drastically interfere with my baby time. (For example, I wrote this post by hand in the “mothers’ room” at the office while I was pumping, and I’m now typing it up six days later with a sleeping sweetie in a milk coma on my lap.) In the meantime, I’ll try to take a lesson from my YogaBaby and keep my focus on the present moment.