Monday, July 16, 2012

Day 970: From A Yoga Shoot To Self Esteem!

Very fascinating day indeed! Completely unexpected one at that too!

Now, everyone knows that I practice yoga. Not very regularly, but I do. Prior to pregnancy, I used to hit Bikram Yoga about 50-60 times a year (yes, I do keep track), and compliment that with a few days of running, swimming, dancing and such extra curricular activities. I have active yoga periods when I go very frequently and then black out periods running to weeks and months after that, when I don't go at all. That's how it used to be usually.

Post realizing that I am pregnant, I had taken up prenatal yoga, practicing at home and following the DVD that my yoga studio passed me. I had started this in the third month. Again, I had not been very regular.. averaging only 1-2 times a week, and even had a 5 week long break in between when we made that awesome trip to Scotland.

So why am I explaining all this here?

Well... because recently, i.e. for the last 3 weeks, I had been religiously practicing yoga thrice a week. And yesterday I felt that it might be a good idea to take pictures of each of my postures, at least the harder ones, for the following two reasons.

Firstly, I wanted to ensure that my postures are correct. Unlike in the studio where there are professional instructors to oversee and full length mirrors to self-correct, at home I have no clue how I am doing. So taking photos during the practice would help me see if I am doing something terribly wrong. Secondly, I wanted to how I generally look doing yoga in my current 6-month pregnant state. I thought it would be a good idea to keep these pictures for posterity. For all I know, I might be pregnant only once in this lifetime and hence these are the last few months I would get to see my pregnant self doing yoga!

So I convinced the hubby to take a few pictures while I practiced. And he kindly obliged.

And I was pleasantly surprised! Post pregnancy, every time I practice, I used to feel like my joints and muscles are too stiff. Hence in my head, my postures are all awkward and simply not the same as the way they should be. But the photos we took showed me that I am keeping up decently well enough and things are not as bad as I had imagined.

Needless to say, this made me terribly happy! 

Since the pictures came out decent enough, I put them up on Facebook and went off for dinner. That was yesterday.

And today, I was bombarded with so many comments and messages and emails and calls about that picture! People were coming up to me at work even, to discuss it! Apparently everyone thinks I am a yoga professional, and was asking me for tips, training information, exercise schedule etc. etc.  Jeez! I was so taken aback! And I got so many messages from ladies - those who have been pregnant, those who are pregnant, those who are planning to be pregnant, telling me that they are motivated by these pictures! I even got appreciation from a few yoga instructors! It was really overwhelming! I was expecting a few "likes" on Facebook, sure, but nothing of this scale!

And I realized how much I needed this experience.

Not because I needed a vanity ride or an ego boost. Of course, I love getting compliments like everyone else but I need this more because it reversed this rapid decline in self esteem and confidence I had been dealing with over the past few weeks.

You see, pregnancy can play real weird mind games on you. In my case, the rapid weight gain, the feeling of being off-balance most of the time, the fact that I wobble vs. walk, the difficulty in sleeping, the discomfort every time I need to move, the appearance of the first few stretch marks, etc. had been getting to me. In my head, while I do see the bigger picture and I do look forward to the little one, these things have been making me more depressed than I had initially thought. Of course the hormones aren't helping. Neither are random people who comment on how "huge" I am. Most of the time I can handle it, but not always. Sometimes, it really takes me to down to a mental and emotional pit. And what's more frustrating is that being bothered by all these changes and outsider opinions.. and not being able to handle it all with the dignity and indifference that I expect from myself, makes me feel even more bothered. Ugh. Vicious cycle, really.

Net, I was beginning to turn into a mess.

But no longer.

The fact that suddenly there is something positive about me and my body, makes me feel good! The fact that in spite of all the above-mentioned symptoms, I still can manage to do something that everyone seems to appreciate, makes me feel super good! The fact that so many other women think I am doing more than what they have done in similar situations, makes me feel super duper good! Even being mistaken for a professional yogini, which can't be further from truth, makes me feel awesome!

Sure, I am very aware of the fact that I am just reacting to some external opinions and this may not last, but that's fine. It has helped me get out of that rut I was slowly falling into and I feel a lot... I mean a LOT better about myself! I feel like I can handle the mental, emotional and physical changes that are happening and would continue to happen, because I have proven now to myself that I am doing just fine! And being just fine, is just what I want!

I had never expected that yoga shoot to give me so much! Not just the expected pretty pictures for memory sake but also a ton of that much needed self esteem!

I feel blessed!

And with that my friends, we have only 1 more month to go on this blog!

30 more to go. 


  1. God Bless! You, your husband, and the little one, about to make an appearance! You are seriously awesome (I've been using that word a lot, the "a" word, but let me tell you I know no other word to explain :) )!
    And, you look beautiful! As always, I love reading from you, because you are an inspiration. You've gone up several notches with this post :) And have motivated me to start yoga, tomorrow morning itself! Thank you! And God Bless!!!

    1. My dear Awesome Teacher! You are always so wonderfully encouraging!! :) Every time you post a comment, it completely makes my day! Thank you for the terrific support and blessings and all the best with your yoga practice! Am certain you will love it! Let me know how it goes! :) Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  2. Shilpa, that photo is incredibly inspiring...I stopped what I was doing and went and showed the photo to Ritwik, whose jaw dropped at the sight of it. Well done and all the best with all the changes coming your way - I'm so sure you'll deal with all of it wonderfully :)

    1. Thank you Sherene! :) Really appreciate the comment and the encouragement! :) Have fun!!

  3. Stumbled on ur blog somehow - very interesting! Especially love this post since I very recently went through this phase (my angel is 2 1/2 months now), and could relate to every single line mentioned! I used to practice prenatal Yoga as well, and the boost of self confidence it gave me, the pride on hearing others say "you still do Yoga!", the happiness in knowing that I am doing something so good for my body - still brings a smile :) Good luck on your pregnancy, it is such a wonderful experience, and the labor and delivery (& everything after) - even more beautiful!!

    1. Thank you Roshini! Happy that you enjoyed the blog. Thanks for reading & commenting! :) Good to know that you are having fun with the little one and that you've had a wonderful experience so far! Take care and all the best!

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