Today I went to my first pre-natal yoga class in three weeks. Three weeks ago, that class had also been my first in three weeks. That’s two classes in six weeks. Ouch.
Holy Belly Bump! My tummy seems to have grown exponentially in these last three weeks, making formerly simple poses excruciatingly difficult.
Let’s take the seated forward fold. This is not a difficult move. You sit, legs together and extended, and bend forward (OK, there are a few more body mechanics required that I’m not going to go into, but you get the gist – it’s not hard). Apparently 33-week pregnant bellies don’t bend so well. As I leaned forward, I found myself suddenly stopped having barely moved from my starting position, surprised at my inability to go any further. When did that happen?
“You can spread your legs a little if you need to make room for baby,” the instructor instructed. A little? I was straddling the mat before I could even reach my shins.
Child’s pose – a former sweet relief from taxing (but always invigorating, right?) poses. Not anymore. Now, with a 20-lb baby bump pulling down on my back, child’s pose offered nothing but discomfort and strain.
How about a sun salutation? These flowing series of poses are meant to warm up the body a bit. “Warm up” now means for me, “Rapidly increase heart rate and leave you panting and drenched in sweat”. Transitioning from a forward lunge to a plank proved nearly impossible, as my stomach seemed intent on preventing my front leg from extending backward.
Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Stay in a forward lunge until your belly is no longer protruding far enough to limit all mobility.
The class was interminable; I kept checking the clock, willing it to be time for shavasana. I never look forward to shavasana! As noted before, lying motionless for 20 minutes “relaxing” and me don’t mix. But not today. Bring it on! Put me out of my misery!
I’d like to note, I think my body is failing pregnancy. A pregnant woman’s body is supposed to release a hormone called Relaxin that, well, relaxes and loosens up your body in preparation for birth. I was so looking forward to this. Despite years of pilates, and more recently yoga, I’ve always been majorly inflexible. Probably from running. I was really, really excited about the potential of touching my toes without bending my knees for once! (It’s the little things in life).
But no. My muscles are tighter than ever. I don’t have to heed my athletic instructors’ warnings not to “overstretch” – I can’t even get a regular stretch. I am an anomaly. And I feel cheated. Damn Relaxin!
Relaxin or no Relaxin – or seriously underperforming Relaxin – I have committed to continue my pre-natal yoga practice up till birth because “it’s good for me”. I’m just grateful I have a venue to complain about it here.Read More