Pregnancy is an exciting (and scary!) time! If it’s your first pregnancy, like mine, then for the very first time in your life, every decision you make affects not only you, but also your precious cargo! All of a sudden, what once seemed simple and easy, becomes somewhat challenging or not even in the cards. This is how I have felt since finding out I was pregnant in July.
Prior to getting pregnant, I was working out four to five times a week at Orange Theory Fitness and Evolution Power Yoga. You could say I was in my BEST shape ever! I was on top of my eating and had a nutritional plan that worked harmoniously with my workouts. I felt on top of the world! And then around week 7 or 8, the first trimester struggles hit! I was torn between the feeling of “productive” and “lazy.” I felt guilty if I didn’t work out. I started meditating more and working to just BE and give my body what it needs. Currently, I am just rounding my halfway point. I have already learned a LOT about my body and, specifically what GRACE I need to give myself. Yoga and meditation have taught me a lot of this.
I realized pretty quickly in pregnancy, that not much is in your control. Sure you can control what you eat, and how healthy you choose to keep yourself, but you can’t control the morning sickness, the fatigue, and the expanding waistline. I learned that I must accept that this was a one-day-at-a-time kind of thing, and the same applied to how much yoga I could do. Sure, I felt really good when my energy was up and I could easily do a normal yoga class, but I had to learn to allow myself to feel just as good and accept that when I felt fatigued, it was OK to choose to nap rather than push myself beyond what was my limit.
Yoga has helped to calm my mind on those days I felt scared and jittery about the future. My practice has helped me to breathe on those days when I felt anxious. I know the breathing will also help me when I go through the delivery process! Yoga helped me to let go of being in control, to accept that what will be will be, and to calmly trust in whatever was happening. Yoga helped my body feel strong and flexible throughout the pregnancy, even on those days when I wasn’t strong or flexible at all.
So, as a first time Mom, do I recommend people do yoga through pregnancy? YES. Safely, slowly and with absolute focus and attention on your individual body, your individual feelings and energy on that day and each and every day you visit the mat. You must find the time, take the time, and just breathe. It will be worth it!