Being asked to ‘slow down’ is not easy for most people, but Kelli Doyle had great motivation to change her daily habits– she needed to stay healthy for her baby on the way!  Kelli was dedicated to her Ashtanga Primary practice three to four days a week during her pregnancy and was an inspiration to her fellow students.  Through the many (often foreign) changes in her body, Kelli learned the value of Breathing for Two.  She shares her story here:

Kelly Baby Bump 1“My jaw nearly hit the floor in disbelief when my doctor told me that my heart rate should remain under 140 beats per minute. As a former competitive soccer player turned triathlete, accepting what breathing for two for 40 weeks entailed was a hard pill to swallow. Running was my freedom, my main source of stress relief, my escape and the place where I pushed my body and mind to reach past its perceived limits. Slow was never my style and it became very clear that trying to gain personal satisfaction from running at only 140 beats per minute was going to be near impossible. Fortunately, my workout regime had always remained somewhat balanced with my occasional trips to Maya Yoga, and it was here that I was able to find solace in being both active and pregnant.

With a new perspective on movement, I threw myself into a dedicated weekly practice of both yoga and meditation. Over the last several months I’ve repeatedly asked my body and mind to do things foreign and unfamiliar; to let go rather than push through. The benefits have far surpassed my expectations.

Physically, my body looks and feels great. Those pesky hips and hamstrings solidified to the consistency of hardened concrete now have more movement and flexibility. My knees thank me daily for my change in routine and my posture and balance feel improved even despite my belly bump.

Kelly Baby Bump 2Mentally and emotionally I was unsure how I would handle my changing body. Through my yoga practice I have found nothing but grace and acceptance despite my new inability to touch my toes.  At 7 months into my pregnancy, I started to fear the ever dreaded labor and delivery.  As a new mommy, I will be the first to admit that I have no idea what I’m in for. But yoga has given me a constant training program of breath and thought control, both which make me stronger even in the most unforgiving hours of that experience.

Spiritually, I have realized a deeper sense of connectedness to the people around me and an ever present calmness in my life even through the last few months of selling a house, buying a house, moving, working full time and managing the general woes of my body being used as a human incubator.

I am so glad that I have Maya Yoga. The instructors and the practice have helped me in countless ways and it has changed my life beyond just my journey through pregnancy. I look forward to continuing my practice after the arrival of our baby!”