Do people still say “da bomb”? Well, if not, I’m bringing it back! Now, I am in no way a yogi. However, I did get into yoga before baby. I was practicing yoga about 1-2 times a week. Specifically hot yoga, which I found to be the only thing that helped with my injuries and aches and pains.
I have a knee injury. My ex boyfriend chest bumped my friend who is 6’7, ricocheted off this very tall gentlemen and landed on me, taking me down and crushing my knee. True story. I also have a bad back. I was a bartender for over 7 years, and anyone who has worked in the restaurant service industry can tell you all about their bad back. That and how much they despise certain types of people. So, I turned to hot yoga, and found this to be a great relief!
Unfortunately, you cannot do hot yoga when you are cooking a human. You do not want to raise your core temperature. Just like you cannot take hot baths, or go in saunas or hot tubs. No fun allowed here ladies! But how nice is it going to be to take your first hot bath after baby, or get in a hot tub, with a glass of wine and deli sandwich! And oysters! What dreams are made of.
Sorry, got a little off track there.
In the beginning of my pregnancy, I just did regular Vinyassa flow. But as your tummy grows, and some restrictions arise, like not laying flat on your back or twisting, you may want to look into prenatal classes. If you, or your instructor knows the modifications needed for pregnant woman, than you can continue to participate in regular classes.
But why think that much? I mean let’s face it, thinking becomes more and more difficult the farther along you are. So let the pros guide you and start going to prenatal classes. The instructor should be trained in all of the modifications needed, and will guide you on ways to make it easier to work around that bump. But that’s just a few of the reasons why prenatal yoga is da bomb! (I’m not giving up on this) Here is a list of some of the reasons why I love it and highly suggest it to every mama out there, no matter your previous yoga experience!
- Bonding with other mamas. Typically the class will start with each woman talking about any problems they are experiencing, pains, or maybe just how they are feeling this week. Pregnancy can be an emotional time, a confusing time, and definitely an uncomfortable time. It’s nice to share these experiences with other woman. What’s the saying, “misery loves company”. That may be a little dramatic, but you get the point.
- Helps with the aches and pains. You will find that there are certain aches and pains that majority of pregnant woman will feel at some point. Your instructor will know which areas to focus on. Going back to reason #1, you and other woman are also sharing where these specific problem areas are, so your instructor can tailor the class to these needs as well. Sciatica pain is a big one, which is your lower back. You are carrying your weight in one specific area, so this is very common!
- Breathing and position tips for labor. Remember lamaze classes? I think this may still be a thing…but prenatal yoga will teach you some techniques as well. Modern day lamaze. You will also learn different positions that will help during labor. As you flow (I use this term loosely, as you may not be the graceful lady in yoga you once were pre bump), your instructor will point out different poses that you can incorporate to help with labor pains, or that will strengthen important muscles needed for labor. Not saying that you will remember any of these on the day of labor, but it can’t hurt!
- Everyone isn’t staring at you. You may have noticed that people stare at pregnant women. The bigger the belly, the more obvious the stares become. I don’t think it’s a bad thing. People seem mesmerized or just curious. So it’s nice to go to a class where everyone else is in the same boat you are. For a few reasons. Your balance is going to be off. I had decent balance, but now a tree pose can be quite comical. You may find it hard to even do a down dog. Or, you may let out a fart. Let’s be real, yoga already releases toxins, and now that gas has become an every day occurrence, you may find it more difficult not to let one out during yoga. But guess what, all of these woman understand! I may still giggle on the inside because I am forever a 10 year old, but I get it. We may also giggle when the whole class can’t keep their balance and is flopping over due to the weight of the bowling ball we are carrying in the front of us. But we are all laughing together! You are not alone. Fart away ladies! Well, try to control yourself a little…
- It’s da bomb! It’s going to stick. I really enjoy my time at yoga. I get to discuss any issues, or fears I am having. I stretch muscles that may be tight. I learn new techniques for labor, that may or may not be used, but help me feel prepared. I get to bond with other mamas and listen to any advice they have. I am in a space where I feel comfortable and confident. Your instructor knows what is safe for you to do, so you don’t feel like you are hurting your baby in any way. During savasana, (which you modify so that you are not laying flat on back), you may even place your hands on your belly to feel that bond with your baby. It also helps me sleep better, which is so hard these days! The list can go on, but I won’t try to sell you any longer. Just give it a try.
Some tips to help with your practice during pregnancy:
*Wear comfortable clothes! I did not purchase any maternity workout clothes. What I found to be comfortable were these fold over exercise pants. Once my belly got really big, I would not fold them down, but just wear the fold over the belly.
*Get a good mat. Since you may be on your knees a lot during prenatal yoga, you may want some extra padding. I like a thicker mat always! Not only did I purchase a thick mat, but the mat I found is also a towel! No more hands and feet slips. Plus, it’s machine washable. Plus, plus, they have some awesome designs! I love this yoga mat! Best one I have ever purchased.
*Drink water. Make sure you bring water with you. You don’t want to get light headed or dehydrated. If that means you have to use the restroom in the middle of class, then so be it. But do not harm yourself or your baby when exercising.
*Have fun! This is a time for you to relax and focus on you and your baby. So enjoy yourself.
I look forward to hearing your own experiences with prenatal yoga, or any other work out you have enjoyed during your pregnancy. So please share!
And remember, I am far from a doctor so please consult with your physician before starting a new workout.