Yoginis, Love Your Post-Baby Body. ~ Jenn Falk

Via Jenn Falkon Jul 12, 2013

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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.

Until now.  

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

About Jenn Falk

Thirteen years of yoga practice and seven years of teaching have helped Jenn move through major transitions such as finding her calling and voice, partnering (marriage) and childbearing (her son was born in 2011). Jenn is passionate about fostering confidence, curiosity, and openness to yoga practitioners, especially women, of all ages and to learning how to support one another as we enter new life stages in this complicated world. Her practice has evolved from hot power yoga after years as a collegiate athlete, to needing slow flow, hatha, and yin as she entered a new phase. She now teaches a fusion that embraces all of those forms of yoga based on what the class needs, and a little to do with the moon cycles. You can learn more on her website.

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8 Responses to “Yoginis, Love Your Post-Baby Body. ~ Jenn Falk”

  1. Ellie says:

    You're ashamed of a little wrinkle when you bend over and push your skin together? Have you seen other women's bodies? I have to say I was enjoying your post until I saw the video. The video for me negated everything you said in your post. That you are clearly so upset by this extremely minor imperfection perpetuates the beauty standard that you say you are trying to challenge.

  2. Jenn says:

    Oy, sorry you felt that way, Ellie! Not what I was trying to show at all.
    I work with women of ALL shapes and sizes and the women in my family are all shapes and sizes. And I'm totally NOT ashamed of my body at all. THAT was why I was posting it. For all the women who do feel ashamed for whatever minor or major so-called imperfections that they perceive exist. I'm sorry you viewed it differently.

    This post stemmed from the talk I hear surrounding all of the women and especially post-partum mothers I work with frequently and are friends with. I was (and am) simply showing that no matter our shape or size, we all have things that have changed after having a baby. Not the best video perhaps to show my 'imperfections', but I do have them. We all have things about our bodies that are personal to us, and after having a baby it gets even more so. Doesn't mean they are bad things or imperfect things. I wanted to explain and show that it's okay to notice them and still feel totally happy and comfortable. These are signs of our motherhood, our awareness, and it's amazing!
    And, also, my point was that it took me the whole first year to get back to where I was before in both size and yoga practice. This video is from now when I'm over 2 years pp, a nice amount of time to get strong and healthy. That I had expectations from being a lifelong athlete and yogini to "bounce back" sooner than I did. Everyone will have their OWN. That it doesn't come at the drop of a hat for many, many women and maybe never will, and that's okay. That we each have our OWN journey in those first years postpartum. And I love communicating and being honest and authentic about it all.
    Wishing you love. ~Jenn

  3. SONIA says:

    Thank you Jenn, loved this article and the video!!! and love your post baby belly, so beautiful and strong.
    Next yoga class feeling I'm hot I'm gonna take my shirt off and stay just with my sports bra!

  4. Kim says:

    Thanks for the inspiring words Jenn – it is always great to reminded of what is important!

  5. Lakota says:

    Hi Jenn! I both empathize with ellie and have another perspective. as yoginis we are so lucky (especially postnatal but always) to have the tools to feel strong and healthy and full of potential! Of course thut doesn’t mean that our basic confusion/(mis) perceptions of imperfections hurt any less. You are in amazing shape but we live in a culture in which it is never good enough and have internalized this shame and self loathing such that (i believe you were saying) even pre pregnancy when you were in very athletic shape you were not comfortable baring/bearing your belly~ ness. I sympathize completely.honestly even 20 mos postnatal ly i have nothing legitimate to complain about..I’m in great health, prepregnancy size, sure things are in different places 2kids later but i am. strong,have2 healthy beautiful children… this /doesn’t stop the cascade of self criticism. A nd it. was there before my last pregnancy when i was in the greatest shape of my life, and was there before my first pregnancy when i was slim as a rod(size 7, 5’7″) and bothered by a little hint of. a curve here or there, to tell the truth i was there when i was1 14 and 7even.i literally remember being 7 and saying i should diet. I’ve always only seen how skinny or healthy or strong i was in retro spec, looking at photos and seeing myself removed. So i sympathize with you. a well, the obsession with perfection of the female form is a viral,rampant one that moves in the minds of all women regardless of size or “legitimacy”of complaints and also permeates not only our mainstream media but also our yoga culture as well. What i find brave outs that you’re not only owning a little extra skin you’re owning how deep that self criticism Can. Go and you are saying enough Is enough.the buck stops here and you’reready to bear and bare to the world your perceived imperfections/womanly testament toyour birth and boy/perfect youness. It’s a tall order,a challenge for us all, bigger than you,thinner than you,less integrated cores or rolls and. stretchmarks and all! Can we own it as we are and start to say to the world” im enough” more importantly can we actually feel that and believe it whether we are 20, athletic,pregnant, sick, like to eat ice cream, have teenage daughters watching to see how we do,postnatal,overweight,depressed, sexy,full of joy,can do handstands or not,gaining pounds in menopause…. etc etc… this brave moment is a first step i think,of course we all have a way to go to come close to extracting by the roots these viral Self degrading thoughts and thoughts that hurt others but i do have to thank you because the day after i saw your post my daughter and i were walking at a public pond,it was hot and we were sweaty and inspired by your idea i pulled my shirt up, extra skin,stretch marks andall and strutted my stuff,my baby belly and my daughter quickly followed suit though obviously uncomfortable at first within mins we were both totally comfy and cooler and palpably relieved. Thanks for talking that brave first step and sharing your process!

  6. Jenn says:

    Hear hear, Lakota! You're always so great with your words and responses. Thanks for contributing, friend! I love this. xoxo

  7. timslehancer says:

    At the time of pregnancy most of the mother don't continue the yoga due some problems and they can't do any physical work so they face some problems t the time of birth. So always do some exercise or yoga at the time of pregnant, after the birth most of the mother getting fat so for the healthy figure must do the regular exercise that will give a better result.

  8. suzi says:

    Thank you so much for share the information, Jenn Falk. I was enjoying your post until I saw the video. I want to try follow this yoga for my baby body. Bye the way this post is very nice.

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