Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Third Trimester on the Mat

Image compliments of funonthenet.in
Do you notice the neutral title of this blog post?  If you don't have anything nice to say... don't say anything, right?

I'm just kidding.  Let's start with saying some nice things about practicing Bikram in the third trimester.

  • In general, I'm free of back pain
  • In general, I'm free of hip pain
  • Class leaves me feeling less pregnant and more human
  • Many students offer me words of encouragement for even being there, which I drink up.
  • Exercise is good for me and the little one on board!
  • My blood pressure is great.
As one gets bigger, everything gets harder.  Balance is a dream best left behind.  The lung capacity shrinks, standing bow is a wibble-wobble fest... etc.
I tend to try my best through the standing series and depending on the teacher and the heat, I usually make it through the postures.  Triangle, which used to be my nemesis before training, is now one of my favorite poses, though I don't hold it for all four sets every class.  Second part of awkward and the standing balancing poses are kind of a joke.  I do them, I do my best, but I spend way more time falling out and getting back in than I do in the actual poses.
When I get to the floor, I do my best but at rabbit (which we substitute with seated butterfly pose), I don't go down on the floor for savasanas - I just stay upright seated between the poses.  At that point I don't need to be racing to the side-lying savasana and getting back up.
I've also substituted a wide legged twist that allows for the belly - I learned it in an Iyengar class and it's just way better than trying to do some sort of ardha matsyandrasana with the belly in the way.  Oh I so wish I could find a picture of it - if you have a burning desire to see it email me and I will be happy to snap a pic and send it to you.  It's a wonderful way to twist while pregnant.

I'm officially 33 weeks now and my belly is WOW - HUMONGOUS.  I'm quite proud I've kept up with my practice and teaching.  I do teach still, though I teach the floor series seated, getting up to help people with corrections.  I find that practicing then teaching is still something I can do but it leaves me drained the following day.  At this point, anything that gets me out of my own head and burns hours of the third trimester is a good thing.  I love seeing the students at the studio and talking about yoga, I love giving a good hard bikram butt-kicking to these dear students, leaving them feeling all sweaty and wrung-out and recharged.

I look at their practices with sheer envy - just missing the ability to work hard like that, to do all the poses, to do situps and compression poses.  I cannot WAIT to get back to my practice for real.

Soon enough!  Soon enough.