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Head's Up for Yoga...

I’ve managed my first ever pregnant headstand. Hasn’t everyone?!! I was at a yoga class for regular, un-pregnant people and was assured by the instructor it was perfectly safe to do in my condition. She said ‘inversion’ was good....

It wasn’t exactly on my pregnancy ‘to-do’ list but now it’s been accomplished, I don’t think I’ll repeat the feat. I struggle getting into that position without a bulky uterus so was quite surprised by how my limbs managed to play along so efficiently. Still, getting back down from up there isn’t as easy with a centre of gravity gone awry and I’m still recovering from the head rush.

The last time I downed yoga mat was while pregnant with Eliza. I took a prenatal class from around Week 17 through 38 and just loved it. It was all marshmallow-soft cushions, chenille rugs and lying down in a darkened room amongst deep-breathing (and some snoring...) ladies with varying degrees of baby bump.

I’m sure we did some exercise but quite frankly can’t really remember the yoga part. It was more an escape into the oasis of incense-scented calm and the camaraderie shared between us first-time mums-to-be amid chiming cymbals and a Hindu chants CD.

We were all working women – lawyers, IT specialists, secretaries, teachers. But never before had we been mothers! That hour a week gave us the opportunity to put aside the mutual state of crapping ourselves at impending child birth and/or motherhood and be blissfully at one with the little people growing inside us.

Yoga was just one of the many activities in my busy pregnant calendar. Living in a city I was spoilt rotten. From pregnancy water-aerobics to prenatal book clubs, and from childbirth to parenting classes, my diary hadn't been as full since university days. Having freelanced from home for the previous three years, it was great meeting new people – better still that they were all in the same belly boat as me.

How very different things are being pregnant with Number Two! Now highlights of Eliza and my social scene include chatting to servers at the supermarket deli counter or paying for gas inside so we get a chance to shoot the breeze with 3D adults.

As for taking advantage of prenatal activities, forget it! Our town and the surrounding areas shut down after summer and if you’re preggers, the options get slimmer for stuff to do. There may as well be signs in windows saying: ‘Pregnant? Try the next town...’

But let’s face it, when you’ve already got a toddler, there isn’t really time for much in the prenatal interests department anyway. By the time I’ve found a slim window of opportunity I’m usually too shattered to care about Downward Dogs or contorting into the Pigeon Pose.

That’s why I forced myself to give regular yoga a shot again – if only for the legitimate excuse to escape from a toddler at feeding time. And I’m going to make every effort to get to class each week. Funnily enough I like the fact it’s not a prenatal group – there’s a smattering of age groups even though most seem to be +50. The instructor gently advises me not to attempt certain poses and gives suggestions for what I can do instead so I’m not sitting on my mat like a lost prune. Chat is not of the transvag scan, belly band or will you/ won’t you breastfeed nature and delighted as I am to be pregnant, it’s nice to get a little break from it every once in a while.

Last time around, I liked the fact I could bond with fellow preggo ladies, this time I just like being Sally, fellow yoga enthusiast and appreciator of incense. Just don’t expect me to do any more headstands....

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