The tradition of yoga – the practice of uncovering our true Self – requires that we have a teacher. A guru – meaning “heavy” – can help us see the truth when we can’t.
The teacher I learned the most from about pregnancy and birth was my Birth Prep teacher, and now close friend, Julie Freitas.
She’s been teaching for 30 years, has done countless births as a doula, is the mother of grown children, and has a know-it-all attitude that only someone at that stage of life can make attractive and even hilarious.
Julie likes to remind me that no matter what I choose to do as a mom – eat organic kale, have my husband cut the cord, read to my daughter every night – my daughter will still someday slam the door in my face and say “Leave me alone!!”
She might even get into drugs, join the army, or move to Australia. My job is to love her and support her as much as I can.
Point is, and this is another teaching from Julie: if pregnancy doesn’t teach us that we’re not in charge, then labor will; if labor doesn’t, then our children will.
Which brings up a fundamental element of the Guru Principle in yoga: everything, everyone, and anyone can be your guru. If you are looking to see the goodness, truth, and beauty of life, it will reveal itself to you.
Which brings me to a teaching I recently received from a friend. When she’s exasperated with her kid, she tries to remember to ask herself: “what intelligence is at work here?”
Appreciating the teachers around us can be really helpful in this journey to uncovering our true Ma selves. Maybe it’s a mom you respect, or your yoga teacher, or a birth teacher. Find someone to turn to for words of wisdom, or at least who can listen and understand.
And then remember: the guru is right in front of you. And it’s also you.