LESSONS FROM A PREGNANT YOGI (CONT’D)

We’re now into the third and final trimester, so I thought it would be a great time to give you all an update on this pregnant yogi!

Pregnancy is a Wild Ride!

Pregnancy is a wild ride. I’m so glad I seem to be the out of the HG (hyperemesis gravidarum) woods now (am I jinxing things by saying that?). I’ve only been sick twice in the past 9 weeks, and stayed out of hospital for 10 weeks for sickness, so those are both pretty big milestones!

That said, I have a very low placenta, which makes me at risk for severe bleeding and premature labour.  I’m also Rhesus negative so I need anti-D injections if I ever have any bleeding.  Therefore, when I had a tiny amount of spotting a few weeks ago, the hospital asked me to come in – and bring an overnight bag as I was going to be under observations for 24 hours. Everything ended up totally fine, but it just shows how many different issues there can be in pregnancy. Like I said, it’s a wild ride!

The silver lining to this low-lying placenta is I’ll have a cheeky extra scan next week. I get to see our baby girl again (btw we’re having a girl!) while the radiographers see if my placenta has moved up since our last scan. 

[bctt tweet=”Otherwise, it’s been a journey of getting told how much I’m glowing (thank you guys!), insomnia, feeling super calm … and then 5 minutes later crying over a rug I want to buy. Pregnancy hormones are a trip!”]

How Pregnancy has changed my Yoga Practice

As a pregnant yogi, my practice has changed from my pre-pregnancy creative and intuitive flow to a total maintenance mode. There’s so much I can’t do, both from a general pregnancy standpoint and because of my low placenta, that my asana practice has become a string of postures that I know I can do and that my body needs.

While this means it’s less intuitive and far more of an intellectual process, it has nonetheless given me even more respect for how versatile and adaptable yoga can be. Yoga can support everyone, no matter what your life and health looks like just now.

Right now, my asana practice looks like :

  • Lots of outer hip stretches and myofascial release. I cannot WAIT until I can sleep however I like again! Right now I spend every night lying on one side until that hip gets too painful and then rolling over to the other side and repeating the process.
  • Quad and hip flexor stretches.
  • Gentle shoulder stretches and thoracic spine rotations
  • Wide legged forward folds to release my stiff lower back

My asana practice may be in a period of contraction, but I’m more into meditation and breath work than ever before! This has been such a joy for me, and I feel unbelievably grounded. My favourite thing to do every morning is sit in the garden and breathe.

A Simple Breathing Practice for Everybody

If you’re looking for a simple breathing practice, give this a go.  This is so helpful for every body, whether you are a pregnant yogi or not.

  • Bring your hands to your upper abdomen; approximately halfway between your chest and belly button.  Take a slow breath in and try to encourage your breathing to move from the part of your belly that’s underneath your hands. Feel the rise of your belly with every inhale; the fall of your belly with every exhale. Take 3-5 breaths just like this.
  • When you are ready, bring your hands wider apart, to the outside of your rib cage or your waist.  Take a slow breath in and notice how your inhales can cause your rib cage to expand laterally; that is, widening your rib cage. As you breath out, notice how your exhales help draw your rib cage back towards centre. Gently try to make this movement bigger and bigger, breath by breath. Take another 3-5 breaths just like this. 
  • When you’re ready to change position again, bring the backs of your hands to your back, in line with where they were while you were breathing into your belly.  Take a slow inhale and see if you can feel a gentle rise through the back of your ribcage, aka your back body.  Breathe out and see if you can feel that gentle contraction. Again, take 3-5 breaths here, gently encouraging this movement through the back of your ribcage to grow with each breath. 
  • Now you can relax your hands to your lap, or place one hand on your back and one hand on your belly. Either way, try to breathe into your belly, side ribs and back all at the same time. It might feel really good to take these deep, full breaths! 

Hopefully this practice will help you feel really calm, and maybe also give you some energy as you breathe into the full capacity of your lungs.  

It’s a simple but effective way to start off your day – and it doesn’t take much time at all. Best of all, you’re training your nervous system to understand how to breathe properly. You may notice that your breathing is better even when you’re not focusing on it. If only we were taught this at school!

Learn From the Best

I may be on maternity leave now, but our awesome team of private yoga teachers here at The Yoga Transformative are doing a great job!

If you’re looking to start private yoga classes, you can find out more right here. And if you’re a pregnant yogi too, Kat and Jo are both highly trained in prenatal yoga, so you’ll be in great hands 🙂

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