Almost two years ago, Shiwani welcomed a baby boy into her family. She already has an elder boy turning eight this year and the second child added to the joy in the family.
Bringing life to the world is a special journey for all women, but it can also be emotionally and physically trying. Hormone levels are constantly fluctuating during pregnancy and not to mention the weight gain and the deprivation of sleep that usually accompanies the post-partum period. All these changes can lead to an array of extreme and oftentimes conflicting emotions – excitement and anxiety, depression and elation. Most of all, confusion.
Whilst the younger boy is turning two this year, Shiwani was asked by her doctor to rest for eight months after her delivery due to complications to her health. Therefore, by the time she started exercising, she found it really challenging to shed the extra weight she had put on during her pregnancy. She felt sluggish and decided she had to do something about it.
She tried cardio workouts, gym exercises and faster-paced yoga classes but they all came with side effects she wasn’t expecting. She experienced foot and knee pain with cardio workouts. High-intensity exercises and faster-paced yoga caused her back pain.
Listening to the signals that her body was giving, Shiwani realised that she needed to reassess her options. Specifically, she felt that her body needed a slower, more mindful yoga practice. She turned to Hatha Yoga.
In Hatha Yoga, movements are slower-paced. Strength building is part and parcel of the practice by virtue of supporting one’s own body weight in poses such as Downward Dog, various Warrior poses and Plank. A Hatha class also helps develop flexibility and balance while integrating breath into every movement, so there is an element of relaxation and restoration.
With the guidance and support from teachers and friends whom she has made at Kate Porter Yoga, Shiwani lost 15kg within a year and is today a very proud owner of her silhouette. Her husband has also felt the hard work dedicated towards Shiwani’s goals and continues to be a key pillar of support during this work-in-progress journey.
“I feel younger, lighter, free of back pain and foot issues, and just generally more energetic in my everyday life,” said Shiwani. “It is important to find the right form of yoga and it is as important to complement your exercise with a suitable, non-extreme diet.”
At Kate Porter Yoga, even though Shiwani attended group classes, she could feel the personal attention dedicated to her by teachers whom she has gotten to know and who understands her body. “They would give me modifications according to my body and knowing what I can do,” adds Shiwani. “I feel like it is a tailored class even though there are other people practising yoga with me.”
She adds further that although she has about 15 more kilograms to shed, it is important not to lose sight of her current achievements, to stay engaged with the present, and to continue to enjoy the company of her friends at the studio as that makes working out so much more fun.
“Set your goals and work towards them. We (women) are very strong and can achieve anything we truly set out to achieve. Yoga is an activity that will bring peace and energy in your life, especially to mums who dedicate a large part of our life to our family. We need to take care of our health and happiness before we can give health and happiness to our families.”
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