I was struck down with Smphysis Pubic Dysfunction (SPD) at around 20 weeks pregnant, which ruled out most exercise for me, especially walking. This made me very lazy, helped me pile on the pounds and made me very anxious about childbirth. So I decided to do a pregnancy yoga course for six weeks.
I had never tried any type of yoga before so I was a real beginner and didn't know what to expect. As usual when I am trying something new, I was a little nervous, but as soon as I walked into the room, I was calm. The smell of burning incense, the cushions laid out on the ground, the lovely colours and the soothing music combined into the perfect atmosphere.
The one hour class started by explaining how to breath properly, and it moved on to stretches, gentle poses and balancing exercises. Everything is slow and gentle and if you feel uncomfortable you are encouraged to stop. There were ladies present at different stages of pregnancy and it was lovely to talk to other pregnant women.
At the first class, I was slightly annoyed by the 15-20 minute meditation section, which felt like napping, we were told to lie down, cover with a blanket, close our eyes and listen to the music. I thought I was being conned out of money - eh I could nap at home for free!! But as the weeks went on I did use this time to free my mind and try to connect with my baby.
If you have weak ankles or plantar fasciitis you may find the balancing exercises tough, like I did. Also after a few weeks the yoga seemed to aggravate my SPD.
I would highly recommend the course though. After just one session my lungs felt ten times bigger, I could breathe easily and I felt that the stretching elongated my body giving my womb more room. It was of course relaxing and it was one hour a week to free my mind or any worries, stresses or to do lists and just tune into my body and baby.
Above all that, I feel like I learned how to breathe properly and that is a real life lesson. The breathing exercises are excellent for calming your body and are invaluable for labour pains. Moving forward from pregnancy I still use the breathing techniques frequently to clear my head before sleep and also during exercise classes to get more oxygen into my body.
It also improved my sleep, helped with some back pain and gave some ideas for different birthing positions.Also check out: The First 12 weeks
First Maternity Hospital Visit