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200 Hours of Yoga Teacher Training at 20 Weeks Pregnant

As published by Stonewear Designs

“To be pregnant is to be vitally alive, thoroughly woman, and distressingly inhabited. Soul and spirit are stretched – along with body – making pregnancy a time of transition, growth, and profound beginnings.” – Anne Christian Buchanan

It’s still me – me who handstands before bed each night and promptly upon waking every morning… Gurmukh says it’s fine to teach until delivering. My own teachers did, and I found that inspiring so… I never considered cancelling my upcoming Yoga Teacher Training upon discovering I was pregnant.

I pushed aside concerns invoked by the barrage of less than encouraging questions and statements – “Are you seriously going to teach a 200 hour course pregnant?” and “Do you have any idea how tired you’re going to be at that point?” And “Girrrrrrrrl you crazzzzzy!” – packed for four intensive weeks of yoga, and made the trek from England to Thailand with my soulmate/bff/husband/teaching partner.

The first trimester had been sleepy, but upon entry to the second my energy returned full-force, mega-watt and I’d felt like Wonder Woman ever since. We’d made the big announcement across social media upon which most of our incoming students were already following me. And by our Yoga Teacher Training welcome dinner, I was 20 weeks along and most were aware that I was eating for two.

Week 1 | The Arrival – Soft…

This tribe of teachers-to-be were an extraordinary bunch – laid back, eager to learn and willing to play; sweet and feisty; seriously funny. And unwaveringly kind toward me and my budding belly – highly concerned about my wellbeing, and that of the banana-sized yogi within. We were all a little jet lagged, so we eased into this journey together. As usual, my own practice sustained and kept me energized. My beloved Stonewear Tempo bras still fit to perfection, and sparkled against the Gulf of Thailand’s precious backdrop to our open-air yoga sala.

Week 2 | Settle In – Even Sweeter…

We were delving beyond the eight limbs of yoga, into wide open hearts – and these aortas were throbbing. My yogis were devouring each asana class, every anatomy lecture, all the philosophy they could get their yogi toes on, and nailing methodology. Their meditations were deepening, their knowledge expanding, their inversions lightening, their confidence soaring – and their generosity in asking about which fruit my baby was now comparable to (mango) grew proportionately. The additional teaching support we’d lined up, in case I was uber-tired, was unnecessary but… Really nice. I was grateful for the extra morning a week off. My Stonewear Fusion capris, a little big just a few days ago, were now a perfect fit.

Week 3 | Cruising – Scrumptious…

My body was changing quickly. I actually looked pregnant, and felt more pregnant too – jump throughs were a thing of the past, forward folds not so deep, lowering down from handstands less feathery. But my teaching was unaffected and I still rocked a three hour inversions workshop! I could feel the grapefruit moving regularly now, which was thrilling, and on my birthday, my students surprised me with our first baby gift – a sparkly butterfly to flutter above her bed. I hadn’t experienced much in the way of hormones-gone-wild to this point, but the iridescent flying delight, at which my daughter would one day gaze, opened the flood gates. And my Stonewear Vinyasa Tank, designed for a yogini taller than me, suddenly was just the right length.

Week 4 | Finished Already?! – Sparkle…

This was the week my students would share the classes for which they’d been preparing all month – which meant stress and emotions would run high, and I’d get a break from teaching. This powerful group had become so close, such a tight knit tribe – each student’s class was a divine offering of their heart, which scrumptiously snuggled the rest of our souls. We passed the days with flying colors, vegan Snickers, tropical fruits and exotic flowers – and then I was up to teach our last vinyasa flow of the course. I demonstrated much less than just four weeks earlier, but concluded as always: Lokah Samastha Sukino Bhavantu – May all beings everywhere be happy and free – a prayer that means so much more to me than ever before, now inclusive of a new being. The Stonewear Transit tights that once were baggy were accommodating my cantaloupe and living up to their name – tight!

Graduation – Shine…

It was an immense honor to present this sparkly-eyed, ginormous-hearted crew of yoga teachers with their certificates, and Stonewear Friends and Family discount cards 😉 After our happy-tearful graduation, I was overwhelmed with gratitude at having had the opportunity to share this immensely special time, this little part of all of these blessed souls’ journeys, with my growing blessing.

Adventure in progress…

I have been fortunate to have experienced comfort, thus far in pregnancy, and the ability to maintain and share my practice with ease. I’ve received ceaseless generosity and support from my husband, students, teachers, friends and family – and I am in awe of how this exquisite practice evolves with my baby. At 24 weeks pregnant, en route home, my breath and my Stonewear Drishti Pullover were shorter. And it’s still me – me who handstands before bed each night and promptly upon waking every morning…

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