Body Image during Pregnancy

Dear Yoga-Mommas,
 
This week we shared about body image in pregnancy.  I was touched by the honesty in the group.  We have a wonderful community.  I’m honored to be a part of it. 
 
I shared about how my recent skin issues have challenged the way I relate to myself.  Acne has taken center stage in my mind as I try to desperately figure out what’s going on with my skin.  My self-confidence has diminished, and I’m suddenly wearing make up when I never did before.  This acne feels very much out of my control –like it’s taking over my face and I can’t stop it.  I’m longing for my old face back.  I’m appreciating my old face in ways I never did before. 
 
This reminded me of what it felt like to be pregnant and postpartum as I struggled with my ever-changing body shape.  My rapid body growth felt out of control at times.  Random people commented on my shape.  Even my shoe size grew!  Most of time, I loved my belly, but occasionally I cried over the size of my butt. 
 
Body image can be very challenging in pregnancy and postpartum.  Suddenly, we are forced to see our body change in ways we have no control over.  Some of us embrace the bump.  Some celebrate the curves.  While others resist it all, and can’t wait to “get their body back.”  Most of us have moments of feeling both ends of the spectrum.  Keeping sight of perspective is so important during times of feeling out of control.  Beauty and being pregnant are temporary.     Yoga asks us to question what we relate to.  Are we constantly identifying with our thoughts?  Our jobs?  Our body?  Our beauty?  Our money?  These are all temporary.  Yoga reminds us that much of the world around us only distracts us from what is real- our true Self. Yoga is a progress of uncovering the layers to find who we really are.  Underneath all the layers, we hold a Self that never changes.  As we take on perhaps the most important identity of all, hold on, dear ones, to the you that never changes. 

Love, 

Jessica