I posted on earlier this week about the possibility of signing up for prenatal yoga. Well, I did my research and figured out which yoga studio I wanted to go to (I picked YamaYoga), then emailed them with some questions since I’ve never done any type of yoga before. What I found out is that they offer a 7-week long prenatal series, and luckily for me, they started this week.
The description of the series online says, “Prenatal yoga is a gentle hatha yoga class designed for the ‘expecting’ mom. Students will learn safe sequences of yoga poses, breathing techniques and meditation on specific chakras. We will start with the Mooladrhara chakra and progress to the Sahasrara, the crown center. Each week will focus on a specific chakra/energy center corresponding to a part of the body.”
They gave me this as the schedule (again, this means nothing to a newbie like me):
Week 1: Root
Week 2: Sacral
Week 3: Navel
Week 4: Heart
Week 5: Throat
Week 6: Brow
Week 7: Crown
I decided to try it out, so I bought my (pretty much unused) yoga mat and headed to the class last night.
It turned out that the start of this series was at a new class time, so it ended up only being me and one other girl in the class. Her name is Kendra and she is going to be doing the whole series, too. She is 16 weeks along in her pregnancy, around my same age and she has only done yoga once or twice before, so it was nice to have someone to relate to in the class.
Our instructor’s name was Heather, and she was really nice and good about explaining the different poses, why we were doing them and adjusting how we were holding them to get the most out of each one.
She started out by grabbing us each some blocks, a blanket and a bolster. She also gave us a handout with descriptions of each of the moves we did so we can do them outside of class if we want (I’m going to attempt this, but no promises). After we had all our equipment, she showed us a few moves that we will be doing modifications of because we are pregnant (her exact words were, “You don’t want to squish your baby”).
There were a couple times that I got a little confused about which parts were supposed to bend which way, but since there were only two of us there Heather was able to quickly correct us if we were doing something wrong. There was only one pose that I really couldn’t do (“pigeon pose“) so she showed me a modified version that I was able to do.
What I really liked is that Heather pushed me to stretch further (and most of the time I could!) but she was always checking to make sure we were comfortable. Certain things were really helpful, like putting a folded blanket under my knees or using the blocks to support my legs for poses we held for longer amounts of time.
What I really thought was cool was that Heather explained things in terms of our babies. For example, she told us that there is one set of poses that, if done everyday, can prevent a baby from being born breach. How cool is that?
My favorite part of the class was the end, but not for the reason you think! Heather used the bolster and blocks to basically create a reclined chair for each of us, and we relaxed in “bound angle” pose while we let our arms rest on the ground to our sides (the “supported” version of shown here). Heather turned the lights way down and massaged our temples with lavender oil – it was incredibly relaxing.
I’m pretty sore today, but the bottom line is that I’m going to stick with the class for the full seven weeks. I’m going to attempt to do some of the poses on my own at home, but I still feel like I don’t really know what I’m doing, so it might take a few weeks for me to really get going.
Any suggestions for getting better about doing yoga at home?