Adjusting my yoga practice for pregnancy

I’ve been slowly getting back into the swing of exercising now that my energy is mostly back, and I’m not dealing with all day everyday nausea. To be honest, it’s been a bit of a struggle, between the traveling for Blogfest and my parents house and beyond (literally, I’m kind of a nomad this month) and also trying to figure out how I want to approach the whole prenatal exercise business.

Part of me thinks all the advice and recommendations—specifically, about not doing hot yoga or twists or running or anything intense—is total BS, if you’re someone whose body is accustomed to doing those kinds of activities.

The other part of me recognizes that my body does feel very different these days and that I don’t want to put the baby at risk, especially since I made it past that horrible first trimester, and dammit, I can’t fail now.

So I’ve been experimenting, and trying to regain my fitness without jeopardizing my or my baby’s health. I’m trying out a few things, namely, ‘normal yoga.’

What is “normal” yoga, anyway?

I’m typically a power vinyasa kind of girl—anything that doesn’t get me moving pretty quickly, sweating pretty intensely, or my heart rate up I usually find torturous, even boring. (Please don’t smite me for saying so, yoga gurus).

I’ve taken a few classes that old me would find far too vanilla for her taste. She probably wouldn’t even consider them real ‘exercise.’ Now, they’re kind of tough. Humbling, even.

I’m really interested in taking prenatal yoga, mostly to meet people and also to make sure I’m doing any modifications right. I’m in Lake Tahoe for the next few weeks, and since there seems to be a dramatic shortage of prenatal yoga classes, I’ve also started doing prenatal yoga online. I found a ton of good ones on Grokker, and I’ve been doing them lakeside, early in the morning. I just set up my phone on my handy tripod and get my yoga on while everything is still quiet and serene.

grokker sweat pink
Wearing: my favorite new Gaiam top, from their Kohl’s line, and prAna gazelle leggings.

I admit I had a healthy skepticism of prenatal yoga before actually doing it. I (wrongly) assumed it was just dumbed down yoga; that you’d be treated like a fragile creature that’s about to break. I had visions of classes that consisted of nothing but wide-kneed child’s pose and some gentle breathing. But the videos I’ve tried so far have been so much better than that.

prenatal yoga doesn't have to be boring

They’re not super sweaty workouts, but they are a perfect way to start the day, and are helping me to figure out how to use this shape-shifting body of mine in a way that feels right.

Even if you’re not pregnant, there are ten million videos on Grokker I’m dying to try once I’m feeling a little stronger, from HIIT to sports conditioning and vinyasa flow classes.

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