It’s been two summers now after I gave birth to my son; I’m loving my body and thankful for it more than ever.
Though I have stretched out skin on my belly and maybe a little more cellulite on my thighs than before, I actually feel stronger than ever, not that I’d show it.
Not having as much time to devote to my yoga practice as before-baby, I am even more disciplined with my time in it and grateful for all of the changes. That said, my first year post-partum was not what I expected—physically. With a naturally athletic frame, I thought I’d “get my body back” fast. Now I’ve come to despise that phrase and think it’s so pointless for us women. My body did what it had to do those first precious months after giving birth and in hindsight, 7-12 months post-partum is not such a long time to begin feeling like oneself again.
After having some mama time to myself in Mexico recently, I busted out my bikini and even shared photos of me in it on Instagram—something I’d typically not do. But I’m happy, healthy and strong.
Working with so many wonderful women who are either expecting or already mamas, this topic comes up a lot. I see so much trapped in those women’s eyes. We have all had some body issue at one point or another. Now that it’s summer I’m sick of seeing my mama students (and myself) covering up during yoga or elsewhere when we have so much to share with our beauty. Guys take their shirts off often in my yoga classes, even without perfect bods and gals rarely ever do it.
Well, I’m saying, “do it mamas.”
Even gals with the so-called perfect bodies find things wrong with themselves. We have to own it all and release the competition among one another. We all have different constitutions, genetic make-up and body types; there is no calculated method to follow after you have a child. We will all discover our new bodies for what they are in our own time.
I simply want to encourage you to be joyful and loving toward yourself in this delicate, beautiful and special time in life: motherhood.
So, dive into those physical spots you’re afraid of and bare them if you feel like it—if not when you’re sweaty this summer in your yoga practice, then maybe on the beach or in a pool, for your honey or for yourself at home alone.
It will be freeing and fun.
Cheers to you all.
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Assistant Ed: Stephanie Sefton/Ed: Bryonie Wise