Stress, Yoga, and Privilege


We got some good news recently. Initially in our discussions with the Department of Immigration, they had told us that I would not be eligible for Medicare until my Permanent Residency was granted. Turns out that’s not the case. Once I filed my paperwork I was automatically granted a Bridging visa which makes me eligible now!

I can’t express enough, what a huge relief this news was. It means we now have a bit more disposable income to spare on things like, say, yoga classes.

Despite this good news, I’ve been having a stressful few weeks at work and have been having awful tension headaches. Normally I cope with this by popping a Nurofen and moving on. But that’s a no-go at the moment, and I’m reluctant to take Panadol even. The heat and humidity don’t help and staying hydrated is hard when you’re already getting up multiple times a night to pee.

So I thought I’d give the yoga thing a shot. I’d taken a few classes back in San Francisco and never really got into it. But it does seem like a natural fit for pregnancy, with its focus on breathing, managing your pain, and of course stretching those muscles.

I did my first pre-natal yoga class at Yoga in Daily Life. I found it good for relaxing but I didn’t break a sweat or feel like I was pushing myself at all. I wondered if maybe this class was better for someone further along as most of the other women there were 20 weeks+.

This week I tried a class at Jivamukti and absolutely hated it. It was an hour and 15 minute class and we didn’t even start moving until 45 minutes in. We spent the vast majority of the class talking about our pregnancies. I know it’s good for the instructor to know how we’re feeling in our bodies that day, but this somehow turned into one woman’s anti-vaccination rant and a ridiculous amount of privilege being thrown around.

I got looked at in horror when I shared that I missed being able to take Nurofen for my headaches. You’d think I had said I was a heroin addict. These ladies told me “Go see a naturopath” “I’ve got a great accupuncturist” “You should start getting regular massages”.

Um, I may have Medicare now, but I’m not made of money. Or time, for that matter. Which is why I can’t justify $18 for a group therapy session followed 15 minutes of stretching. I’ve got friends. What I need is some damn exercise!

So if anyone has any yoga class recommendations in Sydney I’m all ears. Inner West is preferable, but if it’s in the city or the North Shore train line, I could probably make it work. Or other headache remedies would be really lovely. I know the stress on my body is only going to get worse, so it would be great to start trying to mitigate that now.

4 thoughts on “Stress, Yoga, and Privilege

  1. I wish I could recommend a yoga class for you – good luck finding one that suits you.

    I’m all for living healthily and dealing with issues naturally if possible (eg by eating healthily and looking after myself). But rejecting the medical establishment entirely in favour of naturopathy and homeopathy is NOT the answer! Definitely doesn’t sound like the kind of class you want to be in, even without the chatting for half the session.

    Oh, and I’m v glad you have medicare now. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks, very relieved about the whole Medicare situation!

      I do tend to be very skeptical of the medical industry and I’ve had some especially bad doctor experiences in Sydney. But a lot of that has more to do with shitty bed-side manner and systems that are set up to medicate symptoms rather than causes.

      So it’s probably true that if I got weekly massages I’d feel a lot less stressed and wouldn’t get neck and headaches. But I don’t have that luxury so I cope with it in the way I can, which is with infrequent usage of a low side-effect drug, proven safe for non-pregnant women.

      Because at the same time I’m a firm believer in valid, peer-reviewed science.

      There was an article you posted recently from Mamamia talking about why vaccines are scientifically proven to be the right thing to do. I’m pretty sure I agree, but I do want to keep doing more research.

      The woman in my class though was saying things like “My parents never got vaccinated and they turned out fine.” What kind of garbage argument is that? My father didn’t get vaccinated and guess what? He had Polio. And clearly she’s not familiar with the concept of herd immunity.

      A certain amount of skepticism is healthy, but I totally agree – you can’t just write off an entire field without looking at the facts.

    1. Awesome. Our birth centre offers an “active birth intensive” course which we’ll probably take. They do free pre-natal yoga too, but it’s on Mondays at 10 which doesn’t work for me. Oh well.

      Amazingly headaches got better when I was on holiday for 4 days and returned when I came back to work today πŸ˜‰

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