I’ve yoga’d through each of my pregnancies. In my first I only really found time for it when I finished work and started maternity leave so I really only attended a few classes. I really struggled with pelvic girdle pain and at my worst couldn’t get off the sofa or walk across a room. It was agony. It improved with lots of rest but was tough.
In my second pregnancy I attended weekly classes and occasionally practised at home too but really only once a week here and there. My regular yoga teacher at that time didn’t feel comfortable having my continue in her class so I had no choice but to find a pregnancy specific one. There was nothing local to me so I had to travel around 10 miles to get to the nearest class. Some weeks I was just a bit too tired after work to make the drive there and back so I didn’t make it every week and I only really practised at home occasionally. It still really helped me to feel healthier and more energetic and I did still have a little pelvic pain but nowhere near as badly as first time around.
When I became pregnant third time around I decided to make a concerted effort to do some yoga more regularly. I had completed my Pregnancy Yoga teacher training so I knew I could practice safely at home on my own. It made a huge difference! In those early days of pregnancy when I was feeling shattered and nauseous all day every day yoga helped to ease those symptoms and make me feel more energetic. Just a short 10 or minutes of practice would lift my mood, increase my energy levels and ease the nausea. Fantastic!
As a result i have done a little bit of yoga most days. Sometime just 5 minutes here and there and other days lots more. My regular yoga teacher was also pregnant and so totally happy and comfortable for me to continue with classes (thanks Lucy Kite!). I was also teaching my mum and baby yoga and pregnancy yoga classes regularly too so I was getting plenty of practice in! As a result I’ve felt the most well and the most energetic of all of my pregnancies. I feel strong and healthy and have had far less trouble with the usual pregnancy niggles, pains and aches. I have slept soo much better this time around too despite having a bigger bump and I’ve had no pelvic pain this time so far.
Ultimately I think being healthier and maintaining any kind of regular exercise throughout pregnancy can benefit you enormously. The great thing with yoga is that its gentle enough for it to be safe throughout pregnancy and can easily be altered and adjusted so that you still get a good work out that builds strength and tone but without straining you or hurting baby. It has also been a lovely way for me to find time each day to connect with my growing baby despite the pressures of a very busy life with two other children.
I’m taking some time away from teaching for a few months in order to focus on our new baby and settling in to life as a mother of three but I’m already feeling excited and energised to share what I’ve learned with lots of other pregnant mums very soon!