This weekend I finally went and did something that I have been saying I would do ever since me moved to Seattle almost three months ago.
I dug out my dusty yoga mat and towel, put on a brave face, and headed to my first prenatal yoga class!
Back when I lived in Charlotte, yoga was a huge part of my life. At one point I was going to the studio every day, and I loved the energy and calmness that it gave me each morning. Yoga is the only form of exercise I’ve found that leaves me feeling both completely exhausted, and yet peacefully relaxed at the same time.
When we moved to Alexandria, I searched for local yoga studios but never found anything I really liked. It’s hard for me to believe it, but when I walked through the door of the studio here in Seattle, I was heading back to yoga for the first time in almost a year!
I had hoped to do yoga through my entire pregnancy, but for some reason I had a hard time figuring where to go and what type of class to take. The type of yoga I preferred in Charlotte was hot vinyasa, but I knew that a heated class was mostly likely not the safest option for my little one. After a bit of Googling and asking around for recommendations, I decided to sign up for an 8-week prenatal series at 8 Limbs Yoga.
Prenatal classes: Practice the art of relaxation through breath awareness, reduce physical tension, and safely prepare for labor.
Prior to attending the class, I had this idea in my head that I didn’t want to try prenatal yoga because it would be all stretching and breathing, but not really a good workout. Maybe that’s why I waited until my 3rd trimester to give it a chance. I am so glad that I pushed my silly misconception aside because, while there was plenty of stretching and breathing, I also found that it was exactly what I needed.
I got to my class early and was the first one there, which instantly made me nervous that no one else would show up. One-on-one instruction was not exactly what I’d had in mind. But before long, the doors opened and there were other expecting moms with bellies of all different shapes and sizes rolling out their mats beside me.
I know this sounds ridiculous but there is something really calming and energizing about being surrounded by other pregnant women. Pregnancy can cause such a wide range of emotions and feelings, and being around other people that understand that completely feels very very comforting.
We started our class with brief introductions that included how many weeks along we were, and what we were hoping to gain from our practice that day. At 29 weeks, I was on the bigger end of the belly scale in the room, but one woman there was still going strong at 38+ weeks. I hope I will be able to do the same!
Our ninety minutes involved some deep holds that our instructor compared to contractions. As we’d enter each pose, she’d talk us through the “contraction,” tell us to focus on one point, and then allow us to relax with relief as each pose ended. We also worked on hip opening stretches that felt absolutely wonderful. By the end I felt shaky, stretched, relaxed, and renewed. Everything that yoga should deliver.
I am relatively codependent, and have always hated trying new things by myself. I am so glad I got over that fear and decided to give yoga a chance in my new city. I am already looking forward to my next class and am exploring other studios and options so that I can do as much yoga as possible over the next 10 weeks.
Now why the heck did that take me so long?
For other pregnancy-related posts, check out this week’s Babble!