Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Good Class = Bad Class = Just Class

image compliments of
I'm currently 23.5 weeks pregnant and I can feel our little guy kicking up a storm inside me as I type!  I've definitely popped out a bit and have a nice round bump which is quite fun.  I've been practicing 3-4 times a week still and I am quite certain it's helping with back and pelvis discomfort, and also helping me sleep well on days that I practice.  Other days... preggo insomnia is crazy.  You go to sleep, get up to pee, then have to go BACK to sleep... therein lies the problem.

Anyway, with the baby bump comes all the joys of the physical expansion side of pregnancy.  I've stopped even trying to do a deep backbend in half moon.  It doesn't feel right.  Same with Camel - just inflating the pose with the breath is the way to go.  I quite enjoy the pregnancy modifications for spine strengthening series.   I miss the head to knee poses a bunch though.

I've started working with two other preggos in my studio which has been great fun.  Important points I share with them:

  • In general, as the relaxin kicks in, focus on strength in poses rather than using the relaxin to go further in the poses.  
  • 6 inch foot separation in the half moon backbend always, and be gentle as the shape of the spine changes
  • do NOT crank "stomach thighs hips forward" (in any backbending pose)
  • add 6 inch foot separation in any pose at any time if it feels better in the pelvis
  • eagle may start to feel a little scrunchy in the pelvis, if it does, don't go as far with the leg wrap (this pose is contraindicated in some yoga traditions - esp. Iyengar)
  • Head to Knee modification is difficult, so don't forget to focus on the standing leg first
  • Down dog replaces separate leg head to knee, have someone check your form if you have questions
  • Locust Pose - on hands and knees - do not collapse in the belly area as you lift the leg.  Keep the spine relatively parallel to the floor
  • Tailor sit for both sets of rabbit.  Watch Rabbit.  Miss it. :)
  • Don't scrunch anything in last two poses.  This is harder than it seems.
  • Kapalabhati Breathing is contraindicated for pregnancy.  Just do six counts in and six counts out.
  • This is not a total list of modifications by any means!! Check with a qualified teacher.

And, when you need to rest, do so.  When you feel overheated or nauseated, stop and if it doesn't pass quickly, step out of the room if you need to.  The other day I was done before camel.  I had wanted to stay home and nap so I considered it a win just to get through the standing series.  Also I taught the class afterward and needed my energy!  Non-pregnant, practicing fuels me for teaching.  While pregnant, it's always up in the air.  There have been two classes where I needed to leave the room when I knew the heat was normal.  It was just me.  Some days in the second trimester, I'm rock solid and can practice balls-to-the-wall.  But I assume nothing.

You learn at training... good class, bad class, it's all just class.  You go in without preconceptions and practice, and check your ego at the door, doing the best for you that day.

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