A Little Prenatal Yoga

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!


CourtneyKeb April 24, 2010 at 7:36 AM  

You RAN??
While you were pregnant?
I hate running and I'm not pregnant.

I will say I caught up on your fitness blogs, and it's really inspirational for me because I find that I relate to you so well!

I love yoga, but I have an attention problem and often lose my focus and end up walking away from it.
Reading this kind of made me want to get back into it.
I'm kind of thinking it would totally beat "The Biggest Loser" work out dvd that I've been torturing myself with.

;) Go on with your yoga self, momma!

They call me mommy... April 24, 2010 at 8:19 AM  

YAY! I'm glad that you found something you like, I didn't work out at all when I was pregnant and I regret it! I LOVE yoga, well I did back when I had time to do it (excuses, excuses) You have just got me motivated to dust off the old yoga/pilates DVD and get on it! I need to bad and it does feel sooooo good and very relaxing! Thank you Tia for being my motivation, if you can do it (also with 2 *and a half* children) I can too!!! =D

s a r a h April 24, 2010 at 8:33 AM  

Hi Friend! Good for you!!!! I remember having so much trouble being active while preggo. I keep hoping that I will be more fit and active through my next, but I do not want to get my hopes up either ... I hate it when I defeat myself.

I am proud of you for yoga-ing-it-up! i always feel such relief when i finally muster the courage to exercise. yesterday i ran and had so much LESS anxiety last night. amazing the difference, really.

Bombdigity April 24, 2010 at 10:04 AM  

Tia you are so inspirational, I don't think you even realize just how much!!

I relate to your stories so much, even though we are at very different places in our lives (you're having babies, I'm watching my teenagers start driving lol)

I'm seeing & feeling my body changing and not like when I turned 21 either lol ... I think its time to give working out another whirl and use your positive outlook of its only 15 minutes, I can do this!!

Thank you for letting us walk next to you/with you again!

The Paper Mama April 24, 2010 at 10:17 AM  

You're so good! I had both a pregnancy pilates and yoga dvds. Did it once at 12 weeks... so nauseous and tired never again! :) Naughty! Of course, I was put on bed rest early. Lame!

Good job!

Amanda April 24, 2010 at 11:15 AM  

You're awesome.

I'm no yogi either, but I've been (trying to) practice for a while now. I recently got a dvd & that helped a lot with getting the poses right. downward dog SUCKS.. my arms aren't strong enough yet.

in time.

keep up the good work! :)

alita April 24, 2010 at 11:33 AM  

I love, Love, LOVE yoga... and I have a hot pink mat, too. It has some chocolate stains tho (whistles) don't know how that happened.

There is a baby/toddler yoga that Domo loves to do with me. I would totally suggest it. :)

Caroline @ The Feminist Housewife April 24, 2010 at 12:54 PM  

That's inspiring!!

During my first trimester, I was so exhausted that I didn't get off the couch. And then I had morning sickness the entire second trimester and didn't want to do anything. And the third trimester I had pre-term labor and didn't want to do anything.

SO, now, 9 months after having my son, I am still a total couch potato. I really want to change my ways!

Thanks for the encouragement. Maybe I should start doing yoga! Especially before considering getting pregnant again.

Rachel Elizabeth April 24, 2010 at 1:51 PM  

I can't wait to have this baby and get back in shape. I may have to try some of this prenatal yoga stuff though. Sounds like its working wonders for you. Would it be weird to start at 25 weeks?

beka April 24, 2010 at 2:32 PM  

That's great, Tia. :)
Yoga sounds...wonderful.
Oh, yes. I know that downward-dog move... it's pretty funny to watch someone do it when you're standing up eating something yummy.
Not that I've done that before.
:) So glad you found your niche!

Bellz Journey April 24, 2010 at 3:19 PM  

Oh Tia, Thank you so much!!! I have this very same DVD from my first pregnancy and haven't had the slightest urge to do it... instead I have been looking for other ones since I feel like I have "overdone" this one. But, you are right, if I just do it I will feel better, body mind and soul. Thanks for the push and so happy you like yoga!

Anonymous,  April 24, 2010 at 3:22 PM  

Downward dog is the worst for me too. 1) my arms aren't very strong, and 2) I can't breathe in that pose. I think something to do with strapping 'the girls' in makes too pressure. I don't know.... but other than that yoga is amazing.

I love happy baby, it's like a self back massage. :) & of course doing corpse pose at the end to reward your body for its hard work is the BEST.

Anonymous,  April 24, 2010 at 3:22 PM  

Downward dog is the worst for me too. 1) my arms aren't very strong, and 2) I can't breathe in that pose. I think something to do with strapping 'the girls' in makes too pressure. I don't know.... but other than that yoga is amazing.

I love happy baby, it's like a self back massage. :) & of course doing corpse pose at the end to reward your body for its hard work is the BEST.

Colleen April 24, 2010 at 5:46 PM  

Go you! Maybe I should buy that video. I'm soooo not pregnant, but it couldn't hurt right? :)

BeckyKay April 26, 2010 at 10:00 PM  

**sigh** why can't I get that motivated when I'm NOT pregnant...?

Post a Comment