Wednesday, July 13, 2011

walk the plank.

The other day, Heather posted a list of her favorite baby things. I started making my own list, but it got a little extensive, so I temporarily gave it up. Instead I'm going to start talking about some of the intangible things that are getting me through newborn land.

Today, it's the plank.

One of the things that was hardest for me to deal with when S was a baby and now that T is a baby is the blob that is a postpartum body. Granted, a lack of sleep and hormonal insanity is more difficult to deal with, but that's a whole different issue. The blob is bothersome to me. When I was pregnant and my body looked like it was inhabited by aliens, I was understanding because it kind of was inhabited by an alien. I understand all too well that your body is different after giving birth, and it should be, but the blob makes me feel wretched.

I am never going to be a person who exercises excessively. It's not in my DNA. And I'm not horribly vain, though I am slightly. I just can't feel good about myself if I look like I ate another human. It affects every part of my life when I feel bad about myself physically. I get stressed when I have to get dressed and nothing fits properly. I want to cry when I look into a mirror and see a lot of extra fluff. I want to barf when I curl up on the couch and my body doesn't curl up properly because there's too much stomach.

Are you grossed out yet? I am. I was.

Enter the plank. Someone mentioned to me once that the only way to get your midsection back after you've had a baby is yoga, and I believe it. I'm still carrying around a few more pounds than I'd like, but yoga is helping a lot. As my muscles, especially my core muscles, get stronger, I can feel things changing. I feel leaner even if I'm not. And my arms are looking better from all that hanging out in plank position, too. Beyond the core and arm benefits, forward folds and wide leg forward bends release a lot of tension that I apparently store up in my hamstrings, and focusing my attention on my breath helps me calm down. Basically, it's a win-win situation for me.

Yoga allows me to fit in a little exercise throughout the day, and even small amounts of breathing and stretching make a big difference in how I feel.

So there it is. One of the things that's helping me feel human in my sleep-deprived state. An added bonus: yoga pants. Swoon.

1 comment:

Melissa said...

I started going to yoga regularly in Feb and I absolutely love it, for the same reasons that you mention. I HATE to exercise, but I've found that I actually look forward to doing it and it has helped me in many different aspects of my life. I highly recommend it to anyone!