I'm in my third trimester of my pregnancy. I'm feeling bulky and uncomfortable to say the least, but yoga has helped alleviate some of the traditional body awkwardness that comes with pregnancy.
One of the things that both my OB-GYN and my chiropractor have agreed upon is my continued practice of yoga. In my first trimester I experienced some lower back pain associated with pregnancy. Yoga has helped relieve some of this pain and has helped me learn how to stretch some of the muscles that have limited mobility. Another benefit of yoga is the regular practice and focus on breathing techniques. I'm sure this too will come in handy in the future. While there are some poses that I'm not able to do anymore, I can feel a difference in my body and my energy levels when I'm not doing yoga regularly. I feel sluggish, my muscles feel tight, and overall I feel somewhat unbalanced.
I'm thankful that I'm given the opportunity to do yoga at work during lunch twice a week. It's a great chance to take a break from my cubicle and spend a little time stretching and getting recentered. Our yoga instructor, Emily, is fantastic and makes sure to include different variations of the poses for people at all levels. So if you are thinking about starting yoga or are looking for something else to add to your workout, yoga is the place for you.
One of the many benefits to yoga is the engagement of core muscles that might otherwise get ignored. If you are a runner, you can benefit from the practice of yoga as yoga utilizes smaller muscle groups that don't regularly used. For example, my husband, a seasoned runner, had encountered chronic knee pain that have sent him to a physical therapist. The physical therapist's diagnosis? Under- developed IT bands. The physical therapist gave him several stretches and strengthening exercises to do, things that I was already doing in yoga! Yoga can be the perfect complimentary exercise that you might not think you need, but your body knows it needs.
I often hear people say they can't do yoga because they aren't flexible. This statement, to me, seems like an easy excuse. Just like with any technique or skill, no one started at day one as an expert. People can't hop out of bed and decide they're going to a star-Olympic athlete without a little work. To be able to do anything well takes consistency, perseverance and practice. I'm sure on that first day of yoga, you will feel a little awkward. But with a little time and patience, practice makes perfect!
This is a prenatal yoga video I've also done to supplement my classes. It would be a great starting point for the new-to-yoga and the mother-to-be.