Cooking a little yogi – My pregnancy yoga practice and favourite pregnancy poses
by Lauranza Harvey
Tomorrow i will be 19 weeks pregnant, the time is flying and now I’m in the second trimester I’m finding i have much more energy than the first.
The first three months were hard for me to stay active, i was lucky enough to not get any morning sickness, just light nausea every now and again, my energy levels however were very low and the thought of practicing yoga or doing anything physical for that matter were literally just thoughts that i tended not to act on. The first 7 weeks or so were fine and i continued with my normal practice, but around week 8 i really started to notice the difference.
Tree Pose / Vrksasana - Brings focus balance and clarity to your mind, builds strength in the legs which your gonna need when holding a new baby and can help with sciatica. Keep one hand on a wall if you feel unstable.
The mornings were better than the evenings, but i usually had to leave the house for work around 7.30am so a practice before i left was not accessible to me when i was feeling so low of energy.
I decided i needed to get out of the mindset, that a long sweaty 90 minute practice was needed, for starters i just didn’t have the energy for this and secondly this wasn’t what my body needed at this point in my life and my pregnancy. I had to switch my practice to something that would be beneficial to both me and my growing baby, and i had to get out of the mindset that if i didn’t do at least a full hour then it wasn’t an accomplishment.
Goddess Pose - My all time favourite. See the two images here and flow between them both. Great for opening the hips and strengthening the inner thigh muscles to prep for labour.
I started to tell myself, that little and often was fine, and any little snippets of movement i could get into my day were an accomplishment. I wouldn’t always roll out my mat, sometimes i’d be watching TV and i’d do some cat and cow movements in my living room, and this might be enough for one day. Some days i’d do my 20 minute warm up routine that i practice at the start of a class, this would allow me to stretch out, move around and connect to my breath. I usually found at least an hour each day at the weekends to do a full practice, but this was still a gentle practice.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, that we can be too hard on ourselves as to what an achievement is. A few weeks ago it was an achievement to even get out of bed, so doing a ten minute yoga practice on top of that was something i felt really proud of.
Modified camel pose is great for relieving heartburn or indigestion. You can put blocks under your hands if needed and gently lift the hips up and heart forward.
Now i’m up to week 19 and getting my energy levels back, i feel like i want to move around more again. i’m doing a very modified practice, i hate any kind of stomach stretch so no cobras or up dogs for me but my body feels like it wants to move.
Listening to your body is the most important thing in all of this, especially at this special time when your growing a little miracle inside of you. If something doesn’t feel right, modify it to suit you, you know your body better than anyone else.
Its so easy for us to be hard on ourselves, but if pregnancy has taught me one thing, its to respect my body and how I’m feeling so that i know I’m doing the best for me and my baba.
I’ll be posting more of the gentle movements that im doing so keep an eye out and also subscribe to my you tube channel. Would also love to know how your feeling in your pregnancy, let me know if you’ve felt the same as i have above.