I've always been drawn to yoga, even before I "understood" it. Even when I was in high school I wanted to do it, but wasn't sure what it was all about. I know I practiced yoga when I was younger, but it wasn't until the past couple of years that I've felt connected to my practice. And it wasn't until after I gave birth to my second child that I felt an even deeper connection.
Preparing for natural birth, I read many books and blogs and did a lot of work to prepare my mind. Breath work, and understanding that breathing is a tool to stay present and not fly and wander, was very helpful to me. I believed the tools would help, but it wasn't until I was living the labor and doing what I'd been so prepared for, did I fully understand what it all meant. I felt like I was mindfulness embodied, for the first time in my life.
Natural labor and birth were both a challenge and a reward. Now when I am in a pose on the mat that I think I can't tolerate for one more second, I go back to the breath and the patience that I know I have because I experienced it during labor and birth. I think, "Oh, right, I know how to do this, and this is easier than childbirth!"
In addition, Ujjayi breath has helped me calm a fussy baby, sooth a little one to sleep and find my inner stillness. Also something that I don't think I'd be so in tune with without my natural birth.
I'm simply fascinated! I had no idea that all the work I did to prepare for a natural birth would have rewarded me down the road into a deeper practice.