At the begging of my first pregnancy, I was not really looking for a special pregnancy sport class. On the one hand, I did not feel the need and on the other side, the idea of being in a room with pregnant women only, well…it kind of put me off. Instead, I started from early on with swimming. Once a week I went to the public swimming pool and swam slowly but firmly my lines.
At some point though, being pregnant and trying to keep up with the regular pace of life did not really work out. Here and there, I felt that my body and my mind were not really accorded to my lifestyle. When talking to my sister in law who already had lived two pregnancies, she just said “I think it’s time to join a pregnancy yoga class. Being among other pregnant women will get you more in the groove.” Unfortunately, at that time I travelled a lot for work and eventually moved to Amsterdam so long story short: it was impossible to find a class that suited both my busy schedule my yoga style or that still had space available when I arrived in the new city. Hence, I joined a pregnancy swimming class which was super relaxing but looking back, not tonic enough.
The right class
This time around, I made joining a pregnancy yoga class one of my key priorities. As soon as the nausea was gone, I signed up to a prenatal yoga class run by Julia Karadi who I already knew from her postnatal yoga class which I had joined after the birth of the little bird. I was so glad when I discovered that her program was composed of the right balance between good exercises and deep relaxation. One would say that all pregnancy yoga classes are like that but nope, from my experience, there are also teachers who offer rather basic exercices, following more the assumption that being pregnant is equal to being sick which I find rather contra productive. Yes, I want to feel comfortable and relaxed..but I also want to do exercices that make my body stronger and give relief for pregnancy side effects.
For me, being in labour felt similar to having to stretch until the splits during a dance class, with the difference being during a class I could work on it gradually whereas during labour my body decided to go that way whether I wanted or not. In order to be able to cope with this physical sensation, being able to breathe deeply in order to surrender and let go was key. This is where pregnancy yoga comes in. Doing the various exercices does not only allow me to prevent or work against side effects (lower back pain, one-sided pain etc) but I also manage to learn and practice breathing techniques that allow me to relax and help me cope with the sensation of each stretch.
As the name already says, pregnancy yoga classes are only attended by pregnant women which counts as well for mine. Personally, I think it is pretty awesome to be in a room with all these women who are often at different stages of their pregnancies. Having this one thing in common, we all understand the little problems of each other which are discussed during a question round about everybody’s feelings and physical needs which happens at the beginning of each class. For some, that session may feel a little weird but overall I appreciate that the class is not only about physical exercises. After all, growing a baby in our belly is not only a physical but also a psychological process that brings a lot of changes with it and being able to just open one’s bag and share those preggo back-pain/work/or-whatever stories with fellow mom-to-bes, well I find this rather positive !
My weekly yoga class is currently my favorite drug. When I had a rough week I feel straight away much better once I attended the class. I manage to relax in a better way and I feel that my body is stronger and more toned. If I had the time I would even go twice per week but I am already glad that I have this one special moment of 1h30 every week where the main focus is the wellbeing of my body and my mind !
Maternity Sports Leggings – Mamalicious
Maternity Sports Bra – Mamalicious
Top – Women’s Secret
Picture Credit: Live Yoga Amsterdam