My friend raved to me about the need to attend a pregnancy yoga class, “It’ll really help the labour, I swear” she said. Willing to do anything to increase my chances of making it out the other side of childbirth, you’ll understand how I soon found myself at a local first Pregnancy Yoga Class feeling like the new kid starting school.
Turning up 5 minutes late probably wasn’t the best start to things as I sprinted through the front doors, hair falling out of my ponytail & beads of sweat prominent on my forehead. As I ran through the door, I was greeted by a packed room of 30 glowing pregnant women, sitting peacefully rubbing their bumps.
Eventually when enough eyes had been rolled & my mat was in place, the class began. I was pleasantly surprised by how many of the normal yoga poses were involved, bumps were not going to prevent downward facing dogs! The stretches were really good for relieving aches & for making extra room for my growing mini-human. For those reaching 40 weeks in the class (utmost respect Sister!), there were less strenuous options offered.
As soon as the hard graft was over, the fun part began… relaxation. We practised our breathing – deep belly breaths, candle breaths, golden thread breaths… it was all going swimmingly well as I felt the stress of the day escape from my body. That was until the alternate breaths, a practice where you take it in turn to breath from alternate nostrils. It was at this stage that I became very aware of how loud everybody’s breathing was & more importantly the bogie in my right nostril. For the rest of the breathing exercise, all that I could focus on was the thought of it dislodging & being launched at the poor lady in front of me. This wouldn’t have been ideal for anybody.
Once we’d figured out how to breath… well properly anyway… we got to lie on our sides to focus on the deep relaxation of our full bodies. “Focus on your thumb, your second finger, third finger, fourth finger, little finger… feel each joint relaxing”. Clearly this worked well as the lady behind me fell asleep & commenced freight train snoring immediately (which continued until the end of the class). “Focus on your pelvis, on the baby, relaxing it’s head, it’s chest…”. It was at this point my little blighter decided to start booting me in the vagina… CONSISTENTLY for the remainder of the class. Focus went from relaxing to the worry that it might actually fall out. My baby was going to fall out, I was sure of it. That was until, one lady coughed & proceeded to wet herself… and all was well with the world again.
Following the class, we were encouraged to speak to the other ladies to create a support group for once our mini-humans had arrived. When I asked them whether their babies had started responding to music yet, they responded telling me that they’d been playing plenty of classical & chillout which had kept their babes-to-be nice & relaxed. When asked the same question, I agreed, lying through my teeth in the knowledge that I’d been playing electro, LOUD, to make baby squirm so that I could feel it. I made a mental note to become a better mother. I must start doing this soon.
Despite all of the turmoil above, I actually really enjoyed the class. It was great to walk away feeling that I’ve probably got it together just as much as the other women in the class, it’s just that they’re a little more polished than me. It was good to stretch my limbs, freeing room for my little bundle… & I did sleep better that night, which is worth it’s weight in gold. Until next week….