Yoga and Miscarriage
A while ago, I experienced something that I wish no woman will ever experience in her life. No matter if young or old, single or in a relationship, wanted or unwanted, planned or not planned - a miscarriage is something awful and in my opinion, it does not only harm you physically, but also mentally.
I have always been very aware of my cycle, so when I woke up one morning and had very strong cramps I already knew that something was wrong. I was bleeding heavily for a couple of days and it was very unusual compared to my regular cycle. Subconsciously I knew that something is off, but I didn't think much of it at that time. I was going through a breakup and I just quit my job, so I blamed the change and intensity of the cycle on that. A couple more days passed and the bleeding and pain had not stopped, so I decided to go to the hospital. I was told I had a miscarriage, and that made me feel a new kind of pain I had never experienced before. I was speechless and completely overwhelmed. I did not know how to react to that and how to handle it. I did not know that I was even pregnant and neither was it planned or wanted. I was still processing the breakup of my ex-partner that did not talk to me anymore. So I decided to keep it to myself. I felt alone and incredibly sad. And then I thought to myself, why was I so upset? I should feel lucky. It was not the right time and not the right circumstances. But still, knowing there was something growing inside of me and then it just suddenly turned into this huge amount of blood, was tough on me. And I think, every woman in that position has the right to feel like that - whatever the circumstances are. The process your female body is going through while miscarrying can not only hurt you physically but also emotionally.
At that time, I was teaching yoga in a resort. I was living in a country without my family and with someone, I had just separated. I had about a month left at that time and after I had found out about the miscarriage, I tried to just suck it up and be strong. I still experienced a lot of cramps after and I was emotionally a complete mess. I binged on candy and fried food while crying every morning, noon and night. I was having breakdowns every day and just wanted to stay in bed all day. My doctor had told me that I was able to exercise again and that I should do so. I went straight back into teaching and it was very hard because I had never felt so uncomfortable in my body before. There were days, where my body felt so awkward and I didn't want to move at all. Yet alone teach people. I taught mostly Hatha and Vinyasa Yoga at that time and I struggled to keep up my practice and teaching. One day, I taught a Yin Yoga class and that is where I found out that restorative poses were poses helping me with what I was experiencing. Especially hip opening poses felt so good and enabled me to let go not only physically, but also emotionally. Everything related to opening my sacral chakra helped me during that time to feel better. I started to daily practice poses such as Frog Pose, Reclined Bound Angle, Child's Pose and Supine Spinal Twists, holding them for a couple of minutes each. These poses especially helped me to let go and also decreased the cramps I had.
The most important recommendation I can give is to just listen to your body. If you feel ready to practice, then it might be time for it and if not, then that is totally fine, too. Every body is unique, so some may take longer than others. Up until today I still don't feel 100% comfortable compared to how I have felt before. After I left my job and moved away, I continued to feel sometimes physical pain and then I found out that I had caught an infection after my miscarriage, which threw me back again. I decided to take a break from teaching and just focus on recovering. My physical pain became less just after a couple of days, but I was still struggling with my emotions. It threw me back to when I was experiencing depressive episodes and I tried to just fight against it daily, whether it was to just spend time with family and friends or to do some yoga. I still have some bad days in between the good days, but with time I gained my confidence slowly back until I felt ready again to start teaching.
A miscarriage is something that might affect you longer than you think, so give yourself some time to process it properly and also the time to grief. I was surprised that miscarriage is a topic that many people don't talk about in public, especially after hearing how many people have experienced it. I opened up to a few friends about it and heard back similar experiences that I wasn't aware of before. Yoga has helped me a lot during this time and still does. Even if your miscarriage has happened a while ago, it can still help to deal with any unresolved feelings that you may have. I also tried a couple of sequences that I found online, such as one on Yoga Journal.
To all women that may have experienced something similar, I hope you have a great support system such as your partner, friends and family that are there for you and wishing you lots of strength to process this experience.