Wednesday, February 9, 2011

In the mix... Third Trimester is here!

image compliments of

I'm plugging away at this pregnancy, it seems... on Valentine's Day my third trimester will start.  Yoga is my savior now and I greatly appreciate and need all the pregnancy modifications to the Bikram series.  I've had some days where I've needed a nap more than a yoga class - days where the heat seems like the wrong place for me to be, and I trust those instincts.  However, my body really needs and wants the practice, having missed classes due to snow and exhaustion for the better part of a week.

Today I get to practice!  Woohoo!  And I don't even have to teach to go along with it.  It's truly a gift when I get to be "just a student" in the studio.

The aspects of practice that I feel are benefiting me the most are as follows:

The Heat:
Being in a nice warm humid room for ninety minutes is wonderful in these cold New England winter days.  The heat stimulates detoxification of the skin.  I'm not leaning on the heat to gain flexibility these days, I am instead working strength in the poses and breathing.  But the heat feels so good.  As a pregnant person, hot tubs are contraindicated.  But since my bikram practice is consistent, my body has the ability to regulate core temperature while doing the series.  So it's like being in the sauna or hot tub, which I'm not supposed to do.

Pranayama Breathing:
As the baby takes up more and more room, my lungs are taking a hit.  I'm out of breath from little things like walking into work from my car and even from putting on shoes and socks.  In bed, sleeping can be uncomfortable because of reduced lung capacity and increased weight.  So for the seven minutes at the beginning of class where I take deep, deep breaths and use the body shapes to create more lung capacity, I'm in heaven.  Well let's be honest... sometimes it's hard but by the second set I'm feeling the increase.

Standing Series Workout:
The standing series is such a wonderful cardiovascular, strength and flexibility workout all rolled into one.  My heart pounds more now than ever in the past.  By the time I hit the floor I'm always so grateful for the chance to have participated.

Floor Series Stretch:
The floor series during pregnancy is not nearly as challenging as it is non-pregnant.  However I do enjoy practicing in a more mindful and meditative way.  It's quite appropriate for pregnancy.

Some specific notes about the series: because of the constant change of my body shape now, the second part of awkward is really hard for me to hold my balance!  I'm always tipping one way or another.  I finally held the pregnant (ashtanga) version of head to knee for more than five seconds on a side last week.  It's quite a hard pose.  I always enjoy my downward dogs even as I miss all the head to knee poses.  Can't wait to do cobra and rabbit again.

I taught a back to back last week (teaching the 4 and 6 pm classes) and I will not be doing that again while pregnant!  Teaching is quite challenging as the lung capacity decreases.  I've mellowed quite a bit and am not in rapid fire mode.  It's just gotta be that way.  I'm currently trying to lighten my already light teaching load to allow for full focus on practice these last few months.

That's all for now... much love!

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