Last week I started yoga again.
I'd last been in a class something like five days before I went into labor with Ivy, so it'd been almost fifteen months since I crossed my legs on my little blue mat. Once Ivy grew up enough to not need to nurse as often, the next thing I had to get out of the way was the feelings of guilt for being selfish, and figure out how I'd possibly get my evening chores done AND be gone for two hours on a weeknight. But my body, especially my back, had really been letting me know it needed to go back, so I made the decision to just DO it.
On yoga day, work ran a few minutes long, and when we went to pick Ivy up from daycare they wanted to chat with us, so I felt super rushed. The plan was to leave work at 4, pick up the baby and get home by 4:45, change clothes, grab a bite, nurse, and then run to yoga. But we didn't get home until 5, and I had to skip nursing in favor of scarfing down a couple of bites of something, and cursing my way through rush hour traffic on the way back to downtown.
But then I walked in the door of the studio, and stepped into a large airy space, was welcomed by the same teacher and the same two classmates who I'd said goodbye to a year and a half ago (they were in the "normal" yoga class and I'd spent a few of my last months before Ivy taking prenatal classes), and all of the stress of cramming too much stuff into an hour and a half melted away as I sat down on my little blue mat.
I came away from class with a few surprises. One was that I was more limber than I thought, after so long. Muscle memory took over and I was able to drop into some poses pretty easily. And downward dog was way easier than I thought - I credit that to a certain toddler who insists on being carried a lot. But I think the biggest one was that I was overwhelmed by emotion when we were meditating. All of these yoga memories just kept coming up - stopping in with a tiny Ivy to say hello to my teacher, sitting in the window seat watching people go by while waiting for class to start - and the biggest one that I'd forgotten until then was the night before I took my pregnancy test after our last round of IVF. I couldn't concentrate on anything and was so worried about the outcome that I was crying as I went through the poses. That memory kinda hit me in the face and made me a little bit teary, as I navigated past it and through other infertility memories and fragments of feelings that I hadn't felt in awhile. It never totally goes away, I guess.
I went home and an exhausted Cory immediately handed a very upset Ivy off to me and promptly went to sleep. Luckily, so did Ivy, so I was able to sneak away and finish my chores, still on my yoga high.
I think it'll still take a bit of time before I feel totally in control of Thursday evenings, and able to handle chores with an hour and a half less in the evenings. But being able to move my body, and center myself, and work through old emotions - totally worth it.