Saturday, April 24, 2010
First off, let me start by saying, I am by no means an expert on yoga (a yogini?). I'm not flexible, my body cringes every time I hear the words "downward dog", and every time someone say "childs pose" I think back to that scene from Forgetting Sarah Marshall (ya know, the one where he does the handstand?) and laugh myself silly.
After giving birth to my second child, before getting pregnant with my third, I was really focusing on my health. I was whipping my body into shape, transforming myself while the baby napped, sneaking off for C25K running dates three times a week, and getting a firm grip on my food allergies and diet. Everything was falling into place, my new healthy ways were sculpting me into a better person.
I continued to run through my first trimester, running a 4 mile race with my husband while I was 10 weeks pregnant. After that, I was done. Done with running, done with physical activity in general. I didn't say so out loud, but my napping in place of jogging said it clearly enough. When I asked for suggestions of what to do get back on the wagon, several of my friends had suggested doing prenatal yoga, and while I had never really done yoga before, its something I had always wanted to try, and I wanted to keep up with my fitness as much as possible.
Within a few days, I had a prenatal yoga DVD by Jennifer Wolfe, sitting in my mailbox, chanting "downward dog, downward dog" at me through the case. I rushed the package into the house, unwrapped it like a little girl opening a Barbie on Christmas... and then there it sat. For days. For weeks.
I was tired. I didn't want to move. Couldn't I count doing the dishes as being my workout. Downward dish? ...No?
So one night when I was feeling particularly feisty, I took a closer look at Jennifer Wolfe's Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga, unrolled my hot pink yoga mat (covered in pen marks, thanks to my daughter's friend), waited until the room cleared (go to bed, kids!), and got down to business.
I don't know what I was thinking, honestly, by starting off doing the 30 minute set, rather than the 15. Halfway through it, I collapsed on the floor in a fit of "I give up!", and then crawled myself up to the couch, where I fell asleep (I told you I was tired).
And there the video sat. Again. For days. For weeks. Only sometimes being brought to my attention with my 1 year old had gotten his hands on it and was carrying it around like a baby doll.
Finally, my second trimester rolled around. I started getting out of the house more- walking, instead of running. I got back in the habit of heavy duty housework. And then one day, while both of the babies were taking a nap at the same time (heavenly, those days are), I thought "15 minutes... thats all it takes. And man I've really got some stress to relieve". So I unrolled my pink yoga mat again, got situated in my comfy clothes, slid my shoes off, and hit play.
Boy, Jennifer sure didn't make this for beginners, did she? Thats ok, thats ok, a little extra concentration, maybe a peek at the tv every couple of seconds, and I'll be able to keep up, I reminded myself. I had watched the clip on modifications before I started, and who cares if I didn't keep up with the routine beat for beat- I could do this. No sweat.
Ok, well, maybe a little sweat, I guess.
I downward dog'd, I cat hunched my back, I lunged and warrior'd, and after 15 minutes of moving my thumbs together whenever Jennifer told me to- I HAD DONE IT.
I felt, so good. Like, stretched out in all of the places that had been begging to be stretched. I felt relaxed. I felt energized. I felt loose, and in shape. It was perfect. This Mama, likes yoga. Is it too early to say that I might even love it?
The next day I was sore, but in the best way possible. I couldn't wait to do the DVD again. Knowing how badly the 30 minute set had kicked my butt a few weeks before, I decided I'd stick to the 15 minute set (good call on that one), and a few days later, I did it again.
Here I am, 24 weeks pregnant, practically a pro at Jennifer's 15 minute short form (I just got done doing it again, after having one of those days, I really needed it. And it seriously melted away my frustrations, just like sticking chocolate in the microwave and then eating the entire bowl yourself. Only way healthier). I have no idea what half of the words in her vocabulary mean, but I know that after a single session with her, I'm left feeling aaah-mazing and almost like I'm floating away on a big pink fluffy yoga mat cloud. I don't do it as often as I should, although after every workout I say to myself "really, that only took 15 minutes, I totally have time for this every day".
I think in a week or two I'm going to graduate myself to the 30 minute program. I'm not so sure my weak arms can handle it, downward dog still kills me (I'm probably doing it wrong), but I'm sure going to try!