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The Power of Prenatal Yoga

22w3d- I’ve mentioned my love of sports a few times now. So when I got pregnant, it was a huge shock to my system (both physically and emotionally) to cut out some of the activities I loved. I always heard that you could continue doing during your pregnancy what you were doing before. But my doctor advised otherwise, and I listened. No softball, no running, no spin class, no getting your heart rate above 140… What’s a girl to do without spin class?!

 This void, coupled with a ridiculous case of eczema, had me questioning why anyone would ever have more than one kid. For the first few months, I really lost who I was.

 Enter prenatal yoga.

 I’ll be honest. I had always assumed yoga was for people who didn’t like high-impact sports. I went to one yoga class at my gym and thought it was just plain boring. Boy was I wrong. At 13 weeks, after I announced to the world that I was pregnant, I went to my first yoga class at a local studio. After the first 5 minutes, I was in love.

 Yoga has so many benefits. During pregnancy (and I’m sure after pregnancy) it’s helping me mentally. It’s something I look forward to each week. During the class, I focus on how my body is feeling. I focus on my breathing. And I focus on how proud I am of myself. It sounds silly, but I’m proud of how I’m handling my changing life and body, especially when dealing with crazy debilitating symptoms. The teacher is positive, calm, a mom of four boys and has the most radiant positive energy. It’s contagious. And it doesn’t hurt that she occasionally comes up and gives you a hand massage while you’re in child’s pose.

 It’s also one of the best workouts I’ve ever done. There’s nothing boring about it. I leave every class with quivering quads and sore shoulders. I can feel that it’s keeping my ever-changing body nimble and flexible. I started having bad sciatic issues during my first trimester. After 2 weeks of yoga, the symptoms were gone. My husband has even jumped on the yoga bandwagon and does the hot yoga class while I’m in my pregnancy class. It’s so healthy for him to supplement his normal pick-things-up-and-put-them-down gym sessions with a class that focuses on flexibility, agility and core strength training.

 Above all, yoga has helped me maintain who I am and what I love throughout pregnancy. I definitely gave up too much at first. I changed my life too much and too drastically during my first trimester. Partially because I was terrified of hurting my baby. Partially because I felt awful. But now I realize how important it is to stay true to yourself. As everyone always says: You can’t have a healthy baby without a healthy mom. And part of being healthy physically is staying healthy mentally.

 During our 20-week ultrasound, we saw that our baby’s feet are way above her head. Her knees are practically in her mouth. I’m pretty sure she’s practicing yoga with me :)

 How did you learn to cope with your new pregnant self? Did you pick up any new hobbies during pregnancy to supplement others that you had to give up?