I started practicing Hatha Yoga in 2000 simply because I was interested in this tiny studio I walked by every day. After my second class I was hooked. I walked out of every class drenched in sweat and feeling like pulled taffy. My mind would be clear and my soul at ease.
When I got pregnant I attended a prenatal yoga class near my home that I loved. Then moved 25 minutes away to a neighborhood that doesn't have a studio. I purchased ZenMama Prenatal Yoga Workout and practiced at home every morning. I attended a regular yoga class at my office gym and simply modified the poses to accommodate my bulging belly. I loved being pregnant and yoga made me feel even more beautiful.
Spirituality has always been more of a challenge for me. I was raised Catholic, but now most of my friends and family would call me "lost." I haven't found an organized religion that seems to suit me. When I got pregnant my mother constantly told me that I it would be important for me to raise my child with a religion ... Christianity preferably. I am not against it, but everything in my being fights that concept. I believe that I am in control of my path to serenity and that a higher being has given me the tools to make my path and learn from my choices. I want my daughter to believe that she is in control of her path, that life is richer when you are good and respect others and nature, that there is a higher being and more to modern day solutions.
Since I live near the Chopra Center I started turning towards meditation and ayurveda. While I was pregnant I read 100 Promises to My Baby by Mallika Chopra. After my daughter was born I began reading one passage a day from The Parent's Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents. It is a wonderful guide on how to approach parenting in a much more peaceful and thoughtful manner. I believe there is so much to learn from Eastern practices.
I have started introducing yoga to my daughter too. She is pretty good at downward dog, one legged downward dog and (of course) happy baby and is getting better at tree pose.
Now if I could just get her to sit still for meditation!