Ante-natal yoga class (part one)

Ever since I found out I was pregnant, I intended on going to my normal yoga class for as long as possible. I wanted to be that woman that makes everyone nervous by being so heavily pregnant that they won’t put their mat down too close, just in case… Unfortunately my yoga teacher had other ideas and disappeared off to spend six weeks with one of her teachers (I’m filled with both pity and envy for the class when she comes back brimming with new knowledge. It will hurt). My plan had less to do with commitment and grim determination, and more to do with the fact that I’m very very comfortable in my class.

Personally, I think that yoga has a lot to offer to a lot of different people, it’s just a question of finding the right class with the right teacher. If you end up at a session that’s not right for you (see Hels’ experience during Juneathon) or with a teacher that you don’t gel with, inevitably you’ll not enjoy it as much as you should and I’ve known it to put people off yoga for good. I struck lucky with my teacher and it’s been kind of interesting to see how her practice has developed over the nearly five years I’ve been with her. I’ve always gone for a fairly physical class (though not as physical as her power yoga) but have been doing a slower class while I’ve been pregnant (stretchy pregnancy ligaments mean that it’s not safe to hold postures for as long).

This all meant that I was faced with the prospect of ante-natal yoga. I was dubious about ante-natal yoga. I was even more dubious about going to a strange class with a new teacher. I took a deep breath and emailed my teacher to find out (a) if she knew of any local classes and (b) they weren’t all going to be whale music and visualising my placenta were they? Luckily she knew exactly what I meant…

Work and anxious procrastination got in the way for a couple of weeks, but a couple of weeks ago I girded my loins, finished work a bit early and drove to a strange class at a leisure centre that I’ve never been to before. After not being able to get into the room and having to stand at the doors, rattling the handles and flapping my hands at whoever could see me, things improved from there.

Obviously, it was a class full of pregnant ladies and weird as this might sound, I’m still a little unnerved by being in a room full of pregnant ladies. At work and at home I am generaaly the only pregnant lady in the room, rock up to anything ante-natal (or Mothercare) and there’s bloody loads of us waddling around…. Anyway, I had had a long debate with myself about whether or not to take my own mat. On the one hand, I didn’t want to turn up with no mat and have to do the yoga equivalent of doing PE in your knickers and vest, but on the other hand I didn’t want to turn up with my mat and look like I was going “See, I do yoga me. I have a mat. And a mat bag. I am Serious About Yoga…” (this is why I tend to stay in my comfort zone). I ended up with my mat (mainly because it lives in the boot of my car) and explained to the teacher that I usually go to a normal class, but my teacher is in France for six weeks. Immediately she knew who I meant, which was a strange relief to me, and said “you’ll find that this is a lot more gentle than you’re used to”.

And she was right. For starters, we had cushions to lean on. I wasn’t so keen on this because I have a tendency to sit with a lazy slouch unless I pay attention to my posture and I’m still comfy enough sitting on just my mat. We did some relaxation breathing, focussing on being an “observant witness” to our bodies (handy if I need an alibi for the last two Monday afternoons). The postures were all familiar (if a little slower and more gently done than I’m used to) and there was no whale music to speak of (though we did get into a bit of a battle with our sitar and chimes trying to compete with the banging tunes from the fitness class next door). The only visualisation that we did involved seeing an emerald light enveloping our bodies and I did try to focus on this, but kept being distracted by thoughts of Lord Percy’s nugget of purest green in Blackadder II…

I enjoyed it enough to go back for a second week…


3 thoughts on “Ante-natal yoga class (part one)

  1. fitartist says:

    Ah, I used to love my pregnancy yoga classes, I felt sort of empowered when I waddled back out, feeling slightly less waddly than before I went in. It’s all in the teacher though isn’t it? How long to go now?

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