Fourteen weeks into my pregnancy I started attending a prenatal yoga class. Since finding out I was pregnant I had stopped my entire exercise routine. I carried on walking everywhere but I stopped the ab and squat challenge I was working on and stopped my regular yogalosophy routine. It wasn’t until the 12 week ultrasound when we saw our healthy, energetic baby that I slowly got the confidence to join a prenatal yoga class. The first few classes, I go once a week, were wonderful. I was able to do all the regular poses and the extended ones that were on offer if we could push ourselves further. It was such an encouraging feeling. My body, baby and I had this. We were working so well together.
But the last class I attended was so different. My body wasn’t extending the way I was accustomed to. I couldn’t do a deep squat with my feet at 90 degrees (I had to resort to 45 degrees). My poses weren’t as strong. My balance wasn’t what it had been the week before. It was all I could do to not cry at the class. But cry I did as soon as I got home. Straight into Patrick’s arms, deep and heavy sobs in between which I slowly got out “I couldn’t do the 90 degree squat.” Now of course I realise how comical this was because if I remember correctly I was smiling and crying at the same time. Patrick semi-laughed at me while consoling me, gently reminding me that I was growing a human and I had put on four kilos (I am now the heaviest I have ever been in my life!) and of course things were going to be a bit different.
Surprisingly, of all the changes I’ve noticed – the weight gain, the appetite, the fact that I’ve slowed down, the body changes – nothing was as confronting for me then not being able to hold those poses at yoga. I honestly thought it was some of the aforementioned changes that would have upset or shocked me, but it really it ended up being those yoga poses! I smile about it now and I’ll keep going to class. Once the shock wore off, I was able to think of it as “my baby is growing so big and strong, and that means some of what I’m used to and good at will give for a while”.
Mind you, none of these balance or extension issues that plagued me in yoga class have translated to my ability to wear high heels. Which I continue to wear with much confidence, stability and poise.