Pregnant: 29 weeks + 1 day
Status: Tired. Awake half the night between toilet breaks and worries about having to be a responsible mum in less than 3 months time.
Usually I am with Churchill on the whole sports issue and apart from walking my physical activaties are virtually non-existing. When pregnant however you suddenly get this thing about wanting to do everything right, and I heard all the well-meaning advice about how you sail through pregnancy when you keep yourself fit, so what to do?
Running? No way! Swimming? allergic to chlorine (or at least this is the excuse I like to use). Certainly nothing that involves balls and the gym and me are not on speaking terms.
Yoga seemed like a good idea. I sporadically practice yoga as it is sports after my taste: not too strenuous, no sweating, and relaxing on top. After some research and following advice on Twitter I found TRIYOGA on King’s Road which does Pregnancy Yoga classes.
Here, in a nutshell, my experience with Pregnancy Yoga:
1. Don’t start before you have a significant belly to call your own. You will just feel inadequate and be bored to death.
2. Be aware that pregnancy yoga sessions starts with everyone introducing herself and talking about pregnancy problems, aches and pains. This means that a considerable amount of time of the yoga lesson that I have paid for and which is my only chance to get fit and prepared for labour (at least that’s what the yoga teacher is telling us full of enthusiasm) is spent listening to other people’s whinging.
Usually there are a couple of mums to be who probably have no friends or just really enjoy hearing themselves talk, who just. don’t. stop. After I have listened for what seemed hours to the chubby woman in her 35th week talking about back pain, hemorrhoids, insomnia, hepatic cholastasis and how she doesn’t get on with her midwife I was ready to kill myself. Or her for that matter. Not a good start for finding your inner peace if you ask me!
3. When, after 20 or so minutes into the session you finally start with gentle exercises, it usually involves a lot of breathing and hugging your baby with your silver breath kind of thing. I, as a very down to earth sort of person, find this challenging.
4. After different birthing techniques have been discussed (with an emphasis on home birth and no pain relief), depressed mothers-to-be counseled, we all have our mats and blocks and pillows and even more blocks and we finally start doing some postures, it’s great actually. It feels good on your spine, your chest and suddenly breathing gets easier.
But can I take all the other rubbish for 30 minutes of beneficial postures?
The Solution: I ordered a couple of prentatal exercise DVDs that I can both highly recommend (and I can fast-forward whenever I am supposed connect to the baby with my golden thread breath AND there is no whinging. None at all!)
1. Pregnancy Health Yoga with Tara Lee: Tara is a little bit annoying at points (and she calls her unborn “Sienna Chilli” as she proudly tells us), but overall not half as annoying as the real life yoga teacher at Triyoga. The programme is too easy early in pregnancy, but when you have reached 20 or so weeks, it’s really good.
2. 10 Minute Solution – Prenatal Pilates: This DVD consists of 10 minutes session and they will make you ache! Still they are not too demanding and if I do this work out, I feel like I have actually done something for my body.
I tried but didn’t like Complete Pregnancy Fitness, as most of the time I was at loss on what the instructor wanted me to do. I found it very difficult to understand her accent and her explanations.
I still go to the Triyoga class once in a while, just to compare my belly to the other women’s and appreciate how lucky I am that I am not afflicted by hemorrhoids or hepatic cholastasis just yet.
As additional reading, I recommend The Happy Baby Project’s Post on Birthing Yoga.