I get a mixed bag of reactions when asked about my pregnancy workout routine. Some ask for conversations sake, but often times I feel like people are just very inquisitive.
First and foremost, I did all my research and the overarching conclusion that you’ll find in almost any pregnancy journal, website, manual, or conversation with your doctor is …if you were in an exercise routine pre-pregnancy, continuing with it with modifications (aka huge belly appendage) is fine. Take this beautiful example of a dancer who documented the pregnancy of her first baby while arabesking in a rehearsal room. Just stunning. And what I find most amazing about this is the face of the mother to be: this is her thing. This is what makes her tick, feel alive, and doubly bond with her baby. For me, after 12wks of miserable morning sickness with Morgan, I was biting at the chomp to get back into my Bikram classes. I knew what my doctor said (no excess heat, no twists), knew the pregnancy series like the back of my hand, and was so excited to find that yoga high again and sweat, sweat, sweat. Bringing my thermometer in with me for the first few classes back confirmed that while I felt the heat of that studio, my internal temp only went up 1* to a whopping 99.6*. And I felt alive again after surviving on a diet of plain bagels and cream cheese, pizza and mac 'n cheese (my toddler’s food heaven these days, naturally.) My mind felt clear, my anxieties over every week’s gestation and questions on motherhood found resolve and calm in the yoga room. Bikram, you did it again.
I continued practicing 2-3x/week up until the last few weeks of my pregnancy and accredit it to not only my ability to bounce back quickly, but also my firm belief in the power of this yoga. It doesn’t ever get easier…you just get better at it! And I love knowing that my body was cleansed and exercised by such a honed set of poses meant for my body and my babies. In fact, the NYTimes released an article which went into amazing detail about the brain benefits for an unborn baby when the mother exercises…and having incredibly strong and robust cardiovascular systems. While this may all sound silly to some, for me…knowing that Morgan was developing like this made that much more determined to stay active.
Back to the mat I went 6wks post partum and while the hiccup of my PPA had me fumble with getting back into a consistant routine, I’m now more dedicated then ever.
Morale of the story? Stick with what makes you feel good and what you know. You and your baby will both reap the benefits!