Balancing the bump: Teaching Yoga & Pregnant

My days of yoga pants are now on hiatus, instead I’m grabbing what I can to fit into so I can move. The time has come that people realize my little bump is not the result of my love for donuts, but in fact a human. So quickly many ask the next question is if I am still teaching?  Whilst the simple answer is yes; it is more complicated than that. Being pregnant and teaching is equally a challenge and a gift. A total transformation that is quite the opposite of the one I did a year ago to become a vinyasa teacher.  It is a daily journey of a slower and calmer practice for a changing body and growing baby.

The first months are a mental challenge

The first months are a joyous time filled with 24/7 morning sickness and nobody realizing what in the world is going on. You look and move pretty much the same. However, you quickly stop cold as you are about to go into an inversion. Oh yeah, you remember you are pregnant so probably should not do that and you stop in your tracks.  The first months are a constant battle between your mind catching up with the fact that whilst your body moves the same, there is a lot happening and you need to cautiously make the right choices to move safely. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.  For that reason, I stopped teaching vinyasa at the end of first trimester and focused only on pregnancy yoga. When you are growing the a little rugrat, your body experiences a lot of aches & pains, I would rather know it is from growing baby and not something I did in yoga. In addition, I didn’t want to teach something that I could not show properly. But that was just my own personal choice.

Another wonderful factor in the first months was that in between not wanting to open the fridge or the world spinning, you also have to drag yourself to classes that you promised to teach. On the bright side, it was a lifesaver. Whilst it didn’t give me relief from my nausea, it stopped me thinking about it for an hour or two and ensured I was still moving although I just wanted to hide in a cave. You feel that you conquered Everest after teaching a class. This being all said, I am lucky enough that I could cut down on my teaching schedule, which was much needed as my energy level went from a 10 with rainbows to pretty low on the scale to make any unicorn sad. With a lot less classes and a balance of rest, I flowed into second trimester.

Yoga Practice changes

For now, my energy level is not the same as pre-pregnancy. For that reason, my daily practice is 20-25 minutes max and instead of 6 times a week, I aim for 5 times a week plus lots of walking (10,000 steps is my daily jam).  My self-practice  is a lot more stretching with a few safe balances. It is definitely pregnancy yoga plus some moves that I wouldn’t teach in my pregnancy yoga classes, but I know are okay for me due to my own practice in recent years. I also notice that my balance is a little crazy, so much so that my husband has banded me from walking near water (and we live on a river!).

It is a constant surprise of what body can still do when pregnant, but also again that mental challenge that maybe you shouldn’t.  As I’m qualified to teach pregnancy yoga, I always have this voice in the back of my head of what we learned on my course. It is the reoccurring voice that says just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Meaning whilst certain yoga poses may feel okay now, it doesn’t mean it isn’t doing damage in the long run for either preparing for labor or recovering in the postnatal period. My practice was quite agile due to the fact I didn’t have a visible not a food baby bump until 20 weeks. But every second I was cautious and that feeling only grows as I turn into a whale (a glowing whale of course!).

Yoga Class is a big reward 

Teaching pregnancy yoga whilst pregnant is such a unique and special experience. A new understanding of the students is present, as I experience many of the things they do. As a teacher, you are extra relaxed as your students understand that each week your body is changing too. Plus, you get to share knowledge with not only your students, but they are the fellow mothers you most likely will see at the park one day in the future.  You all share the experience together and congratulate each other for making it to yoga class when all you want to do is sleep for days.

Yoga passion takes second place

This most definitely is a yoga baby.  Yoga has played a role from day one and continues to do so through my practice as it helps me avoid aches and keeps me flexible. My husband is being prepped for my yoga poses and breathing for labor. When baby arrives, we will do yoga together and relax together.  Plus, yoga will continue to help me heal and keep me grounded once baby arrives. But at this moment, I need to say that yoga is not my only focus and that simply my yoga passion has been replaced with a full on baby nesting passion. Which in itself sometimes feels like a sport (my deep cleaning methods has improved my muscle tone!). I am more interested in nursery themes than the latest yoga news. My mind has checked out a bit from the yoga world. I constantly see upcoming yoga workshops and training’s, but quickly ignore it as it is mostly a no go whilst pregnant. I am completely okay with this change and perhaps refreshing as the saturation of yoga this and yoga that out there in the world is sometimes overwhelming, because in case you missed the memo that wearing yoga pants and going to a class is what everyone seems to be doing 😉

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So here I am on a different journey than one year ago. Now, I’m the yoga teacher who is rapidly turning into a whale uhm unicorn with a bump. Mastering the art of baby nesting instead of handstands. No longer the crazy one who taught lots of pregnancy and baby yoga, but only had 2 furry cats. My change of pace has rapidly changed and I’m happy with that and at peace of wherever this adventure is heading.

 

Relate, share & send only positive vibes!

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Blogger, Wife, Yoga Teacher, Cat mom, World explorer & Creator of disasters in the kitchen.

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