Workin’ on my fitness: Prenatal Yoga

Last week, I regaled you with tales of my triumphant(?) return to running and I’ve previously promised to tell you all about how pregnancy changed my yoga practice. And then I dropped off the face of the planet. But now I’m back and ready to talk yoga.

Please Note: This is not me. It’s just a super cute tank you can get here.

A little background about me and yoga before we get started (read more here). I started doing yoga when I was in high school. Now, in southeastern Kentucky, I’m pretty sure people thought this was a little weird, but I didn’t care. I kept up the yoga (with my trusty Denise Austin video) through college and law school (albeit sporadically) and, by the time I graduated from law school and was preparing to take the bar, I had a pretty much daily practice. With some work, I’ve managed to keep that up after I started practicing law, so it’s no surprise that when I learned the happy baby news (see what I did there? It’s punny because it’s a yoga pose too.) I was concerned about how it would affect my yoga practice. Prenatal yoga has tons of benefits from promoting easier labor (I assume that’s relative) to reducing depression.  There was never any real question as to whether I would keep practicing yoga, I just wanted to be sure I was doing it safely.

Obviously, my first concern was when I needed to switch from my regular vinyasa yoga to prenatal. As it turns out, you can basically keep doing what you did before for most of the first trimester. Of course, I’m not a doctor, so if your doctor says something different listen to them. Personally, I kept up my regular practice and was extra careful to listen to what my body was telling me. If a backbend didn’t feel awesome, I didn’t do it. If a vinyasa made me lightheaded, I took a break. And, on the days I was really tired (and, trust me, there were a lot of them), I did an actual prenatal flow class with

Sometime toward the end of the first trimester, I started taking actual in-person prenatal classes with a studio in my town. I did this for a couple of reasons. First, I had pretty much exhausted the yogaglo prenatal library. More importantly, I didn’t want to be dependent on a video. I wanted to learn what I could and couldn’t do while pregnant, so I could make up my own sequences. The classes have been fabulous. I’m meeting lots of other expectant mothers, learning what they’re going through, and just generally learning new things about yoga and about myself.

So, how has my practice changed? Well, it’s actually physically changed. The yoga I do isn’t as athletic as it was before. You won’t see me in deep twists or crazy binds for awhile.

The biggest change to my practice isn’t in the type of yoga I practice or the asanas I practice. It’s in  me. I’m paying more attention to the cues my body is giving me. I’m taking breaks when I need to. I’m actively trying not to overstretch. To put it simply, I’m not pushing myself, I’m enjoying myself.

What’s your yoga story?


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