By Jessica T
The yoga circuitUploaded: Feb 9, 2014
When I found out I was pregnant with the twins, I started counting the days until I could enroll in prenatal yoga. I took a prenatal yoga class ten years ago with my first daughter, and it was a special weekly indulgence during my pregnancy. There's something liberating about going from work (where I always felt that I was trying to downplay the impacts of pregnancy, lest they be perceived as a distraction) to a studio packed with pregnant ladies where I could be "as pregnant as I wanted to be." There's also something otherworldly and therapeutic about being surrounded by other expectant women. Prenatal yoga was a haven away from work and home stresses that allowed me to focus on my body and the babies growing inside.
The first ten minutes of a prenatal yoga class are dedicated to introductions. Week by week, you introduce yourself and your baby and count down the time until your delivery. You can also share what's on your mind and get tips from others about discomforts from heartburn to sleeplessness. The class itself tends to be a gentle yoga practice that prepares you for the discomforts and athletic challenges of labor. Prenatal yoga kept my muscles strong and supple. And it helped me practice clearing my mind and relaxing.
Here on the Peninsula, I was delighted to find Blossom Birth Services, which offers prenatal yoga every day of the week and even has evening classes for working mothers. I was privileged to take classes from truly gifted teachers - some of the best I've ever worked with. I was able to continue practicing yoga until two days before my scheduled c-section with the twins. The day before my delivery, at a yoga teacher's urging, my husband took pictures of me doing several challenging poses.
Seven weeks after the twins were born, I was ready to get back into the swing of things. My doctor checked my abdominal muscles for diastasis recti (when the stomach muscles separate). When she cleared me, I ventured back to a Mom and Baby class. It was a happy reunion to see my teachers and many of the women from class with their new babies. The first several weeks back I didn't push myself, and these classes focused on regaining core strength and getting movement back into our bodies.
One of the biggest gifts of my twin pregnancy was returning to my yoga practice. I started yoga 13 years ago, and I've had periods where I've practiced regularly and not at all. Months after the babies' birth, I practiced yoga twice a week. I was in the best yoga shape I'd been in for years. For me, that meant I had some combination of flexibility, strength, and mindfulness. If I spend an hour "in the zone" without thinking about what is weighing on me, I've had a successful practice.
Here are some of my favorite, favorite instructors on the Peninsula:
I encourage you to try one of their classes. Maybe I'll see you there...