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    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    A Look Back.



My First Prenatal Yoga Class.

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!

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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.  

8 limbs

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.

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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? 

Namaste.

For other pregnancy-related posts, check out this week’s Babble!

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49 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Alayna @ Thyme Bombe     at 4:20 pm

I am the same way, if I have to try something by myself it’ll take much longer for me to motivate to do it. Glad you enjoyed your pre-natal yoga, I hope I can get myself to do it when I’m in your shoes!

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Sarah @ See Sarah Eat     at 4:22 pm

I’m so glad you had a good experience! :)

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Alison @ Hospitality Haven     at 4:24 pm

Good for you! I just tried yoga for the first time this past month with a month-long class at my rec centre. I loved it and can’t wait to do more of it again!

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Callie     at 4:25 pm

I really wish I had gone to some prenatal yoga classes. My hips are SO tight now after giving birth. Next time! :)

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Kiran @ KiranTarun.com     at 4:25 pm

You have a positive outlook in life. Love that :)

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Amy*     at 4:27 pm

I’m shy, so I can relate to going somewhere new alone and being a little nervous. Sounds like it was a great experience for you!*

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Marci     at 4:37 pm

I would think prenatal yoga would be the kind to do. They know best what your body is supposed to do and how to make poses safe. Probably a good habit for the last tri! I am not extroverted, but I always like going places by myself. Always been independent! Dont have to rely on someone to be ready or go when you want.

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Jen     at 4:38 pm

emily – this post makes me SO happy. i was sad to hear that you never found a yoga home in alexandria. i can’t wait to hear about your experiences with prenatal yoga – so glad your first class was a success. i hope this series helps you rediscover your love for yoga…even if it feels a little different this time around.

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Kristin @ eat healthy. be happy. live well     at 4:39 pm

That’s awesome! I can understand the thought of it not being enough of a workout- that’s why I skip doing yoga on a lot of days. But once I do it, I remember how invigorating it can be!

Can’t wait to hear more about your other classes! I’m always inspired by pregnant women who continue to workout during pregnancy!

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Ashley O. @ The Vegetable Life     at 4:39 pm

I’ve heard that it does wonders for pregnancy and labor! I’m glad you liked it and gave it a try!

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Jill     at 4:57 pm

Oh my goodness, what have you been waiting for :)
Going to prenatal yoga classes is the highlight of my week! I started out with one of the furthest away due dates and now it’s scary because I’m always the one who’s furthest along (38 weeks). I hope to continue going until baby’s born!
I’m glad you enjoyed yourself!

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Kristen @ Chocolate Covered Kristen     at 5:00 pm

I wish I had been reading your blog much sooner. I went to the Bikram studio by the Van Dorn Street Metro and loved it. I was so sad when I moved and had to cancel my membership.

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Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga     at 5:02 pm

So happy for you that you found yoga again at 29w!

“but there is something really calming and energizing about being surrounded by other pregnant women.”
Yes, it’s the hormones! It IS calmning to be in that good energy space.

And yes, you can practice up til the end. I did and it was the best thing, for me, to do! Helped so much with the birth. Everyone is different though of course :)

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Sarah     at 5:12 pm

I love that you were able to find a class that suits you. I’ve been taking a class for several weeks now, and I think it is great “practice” for both pregnancy and labor.
PS. You make an adorable yogini mama!

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Sana     at 5:14 pm

You never have to try anything alone you have thousands of blog readers!!!

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Shayla @ The Good Life     at 5:30 pm

That’s wonderful you had such a great experience. I’m the same way in that I’m uncomfortable and scared of trying new things by myself…so good for you for getting out there and doing it! :)

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Jamie     at 5:33 pm

Emily, this post made me smile from ear to ear. :) I teach both heated vinyasa yoga as well as prenatal yoga and what you’ve written sounds so familiar. A lot of women get apprehensive about doing prenatal, especially ones who are used to a heated practice, or who are used to working out. The practice is strengthening (mentally and physically) and centering and extremely helpful for calming any fears/anxiety that surface along the way. I’ve heard many women say that they came in wanting a good workout, not sure what to expect, and left feeling like it was just what they needed.

I also wanted to recommend a website called yogaglo. They have a bunch of prenatal classes on there…check it out. I subscribe to it myself so on the days I’m not feeling like venturing to the studio, or I’m just feeling introverted, I can get the feeling of being in a class but in the privacy of my home. I hope your experience continues to be a positive one! Your blog is an inspiration. Your writing is warm, honest, easy to relate to, and informative. And I get so many great recipes here! All my best to you.

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mi-an d.     at 6:13 pm

Better late than never!! :))

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BethT     at 6:29 pm

I was not a big yogi, pre-pregnancy, but prenatal yoga was so great for me. Not only did it make my hips and back feel much better, it also put me in a great mental place for childbirth.

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Niki     at 6:38 pm

I love this! I did Yoga during my entire pregnancy and am going through training to become a prenatal and postnatal Yoga instructor and Personal Trainer. I feel that all women benefit from working out during their pregnancy, and I maintain that my fit physique help me have a healthy pregnancy and an easy labor and delivery. Good luck to you! :) I hope for you to have the same (or better) experiences that I had!

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Marie@feedingfive     at 7:25 pm

I love your blog and think you have such a refreshing attitude toward life, food and your pregnancy. I went to a Yoga class with a friend last week and after I told her I would rather run 10 miles than do Yoga again. It is so HARD! It did feel really good though. Happy you are able to exercise during your pregnancy.

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Gina (Yogattude)     at 8:10 pm

I’m so excited you gave prenatal a go! I’ve heard really great things about the 8 Limbs pre and postnatal programs. I’m excited to hear how you like Shakti! Let me know if you ever want to take a class somewhere together!

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chelsey @ clean eating chelsey     at 8:33 pm

Oh prenatal yoga sounds so much fun! You are taking such good care of your body during this pregnancy – I’m crossing my fingers that labor is a breeze for you!

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Katy @ MonsterProof     at 9:40 pm

I loved prenatal yoga. And I loved it even more because I felt my first kick at the end of a class!

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Paulynn     at 9:52 pm

So happy you found a good prenatal yoga instructor/class. I really liked my instructor here in Lexington. Prenatal yoga was my touchstone each week. Loved it!

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Madeline @ Food, Fitness & Family     at 10:53 pm

So glad you liked your class!

I still go to yoga 2-3 times per week at 30 weeks and love it. I am not doing a pre-natal class but I obviously modify poses as needed.

Good for you for going :)

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Kristen, Sweetly     at 11:07 pm

Yay for getting back into it! As much as I know my body and mind love it and how it makes me feel, when I take a break from yoga, I always end up waiting way too long to get back to it… Glad Seattle has something for you and the baby. :-)

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Nicole     at 12:14 am

I love the term codependent. I use it all the time. :)

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Lexi @ A Spoonful of Sunshine     at 12:21 am

Just finished a hot vinyasa class today! Twas wonderful, and I can’t wait to try prenatal yoga when pregnant ;)

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Jumanah (Healthy Living in the Middle East)     at 4:04 am

I really wish I had taken such a class during my pregnancy! I’m sure you will really enjoy it!

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Ruth     at 6:29 am

ITs so great that you’ve found yoga again! I started about a year ago following an injury that left me unable to run and do circuits etc, and I haven’t given it up despite being able to do all those things again. It’s now hard to fit everything in, but the yoga is one of the definite regulars in my schedule.

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Kim@ Flora Design     at 11:11 am

I did the same thing. I was in LOVE with a studio in FL, but when I moved to Chicago it took me over a year to find a good studio in the suburbs. Now I go 2 -3 times a week. soooo glad I got back into it! you look amazing!

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Amber K     at 12:57 pm

Good for you for finding a great class to enjoy. I’m really scared of trying classes at my gym because I’m always afraid that people have “their” spots and I wouldn’t want to jump in there and squeeze my way in. (the fitness room at my gym is quite tiny!)

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fittingbackin     at 3:16 pm

I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I love the idea of prenatal yoga!

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allpointswhole     at 3:47 pm

Way to conquer that codependency and get out there! Prenatal Yoga is awesome!

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Elizabeth     at 4:31 pm

Wow! Awesome!! Can’t wait to see the things you cook up in the kitchen for your little one!!!! Best wishes!!!!

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Chelsey @ Chew with Your Mouth Open     at 1:26 am

Good for you! I too love yoga, it is so cleansing. Glad you found a studio you enjoy!

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Jen     at 3:03 pm

I am the same way with trying new things, but once it’s said and done, I’m really glad I went!

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Lauren @ vegology     at 4:50 pm

Congrats, I’m so glad it worked out for you. I haven’t been to yoga in a little over a month and I miss that feeling too. My boyfriend Kyle recently expressed an interest in starting to practice and I think that’s the kickstart I needed to go back to class again. I’m really looking forward to it!

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Leah     at 10:18 am

Hooray for jumping back into yoga at a time when you REALLY need it. :)

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Katy     at 10:28 am

did you see this? thought of you instantly! http://www.npr.org/2011/08/08/139033757/babys-palate-and-food-memories-shaped-before-birth

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Danielle S.     at 1:30 pm

I started going to prenatal classes last week (i’m 14 weeks along). Like you, I found the community of all the other pregnant women really great. There was one woman there a day past her due date! I was super impressed :) Hope you enjoy your classes as much as I look forward to continuing mine through the rest of the pregnancy!

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suki     at 4:10 pm

love that you pushed aside your own misconception to do this. i guess this is why there is pre-natal yoga to begin with… oh, and massage! :P pre-natal massage!

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alex     at 2:00 pm

we have that exact same Seattle print that you have! :) I love it!
good for you..yoga is awesome and I hope to continue doing it when I get pregnant!

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My 55 Hour Labor: Part Three | Being Pregnant     at 4:17 pm

[...] hear Mia, Bonnie, and Casey talking but I felt like I was ten feet away.  I thought about my prenatal yoga classes, and everything I had read and learned about focusing energy and finding [...]

Katie O     at 2:14 pm

I just started reading your blog and This post jumped out at me! I’m in my 2nd trimester and I’ve found that there is nothing quite so beautiful and amazing as Prenatal Yoga! I LOVE it. I wish all my yoga classes were like it! and the total beauty, energy and calm mix from a group of Pregnant women? AMAZING.

[Reply]

Making Time For Postpartum Fitness | Babys First Year Blog     at 6:57 pm

[...] a bit.  Now that we’re in Seattle, there is a yoga studio on practically every corner.  I did prenatal yoga classes during my pregnancy, but I’ve been itching to get back into the more intense, heated [...]

Daily Garnish » Blog Archive » 2nd Pregnancy: Six Months Pregnant! (Weeks 21-24)     at 3:46 pm

[...] weeks ago I went to my first prenatal yoga class, which felt wonderful.  I really enjoyed my yoga classes last time, and I promised [...]

Daily Garnish » Blog Archive » Friday.     at 3:31 pm

[...] My current weekly workout schedule includes three Barre3 classes a week, as well as one prenatal yoga class.  I took a short break from studio classes while we moved, and it ended up stretching [...]

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