Last Monday was the first day of spring yoga, and as the class began, I settled into a half-lotus position: seated on the yoga mat with my back straight, one foot resting on the opposite knee, hands relaxed across the knees with palms to the ceiling. I fidgeted for a moment, readjusting my spine a little, shaking out my shoulders, shifting an ankle a little forward and then a little back, until I found my sweet spot.
The same music that’s been playing since I first took this class in the fall of 2009 was gently throbbing in the background, lulling in its familiarity. My bones settled into place and the stillness started to take over.
“Close your eyes and focus on your breathing,” our teacher instructed. “In for two counts–hold for two counts–then exhale.”
I breathed in, I breathed out, counting beats at first, and then simply absorbed in the rhythm. I could feel the calm seeping from my lungs into the rest of my body like a thick, warm liquid.
As my brain slowed down and I quieted my thoughts, I was suddenly conscious of my baby, the size of a child’s fist, still invisible to my eyes, but with a little heart that I knew was beating fast and strong. I wasn’t alone in my stillness.
I breathed in. I breathed out. And I started channeling “I love you” to the baby with each exhale. I love you . . . I love you . . . I love you . . .
My eyes filled with tears.
As the message flowed out from my heart and brain, I imagined the love rushing down in a current and enfolding that little being. Descending like a waterfall with inexorable strength, then gently pooling around its body, circling this tiny human, enveloping it in an egg of safety. And it didn’t matter if the baby knew it was surrounded or not–it was the surrounding that was important. The love that I could feel growing in me and extending through my veins towards the baby like roots.