Backbends instead of pushups

lake tahoe sweat pink

Since I’ve had rather extreme experiences so far with group ex instructors, and I’m still figuring out what my position is on modifying prenatal workouts, I’ve been spending more time hiking, kayaking, and swimming this summer than practicing yoga. I go through phases like this once in a while, when I step back from the studio and find myself questioning, what did I really get out of my practice? Is the studio where I want to be spending my time?

Well, my body has answered those questions for me, in the form of lower back pain, really tight hamstrings, and irritability.

Time to get back into down dog. 

I tried a new teacher, and, praise be, her response to my baby bump didn’t rub me the wrong way or make me feel like I was on the verge of shattering into a million pieces. Some of the modifications she had me do:

Twist the other way

prenatal yoga sweat pink

This one I’ve seen on the internets and even in classes; you twist the other direction, so you’re opening, rather than twisting. It’s kind of funny looking at everyone else, but the woman next to me was really friendly and smiled every time we turned toward each other, so that made it less awkward.

prenatal yoga modifications

Camel during vinyasas

I can still sort of fudge my way through a vinyasa; I usually do knees-chest-chin instead of a full chaturanga, but putting any pressure on my stomach gives me an instant, instinctual, THIS IS WEIRD! reaction, so my vinyasas have been… a little unconventional. She suggested for some of them, I come to my knees from plank and into camel, then rejoin the class in down dog. She explained that you get a similar heart opening as in updog, without the chance of belly-floor contact.

That’s a modification I hadn’t seen before, and I loved—camel is one of my favorite poses anyway, so I was happy to trade my shuffling knees-chest-chin for a glorious, if quick, heart opener.

And the timing couldn’t be more perfect, since today’s prompt for the #liveinprAna challenge is all about backbends. Show us yours!

Tuesday, August 25: Backbends. Any backbends. All backbends. #benditlikebackbend Show us how you get bendy! #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Bonus: It’s #transformationtuesday y’all, whether you’re bendier than you used to be, more adventurous, or even faster, we want to see! #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna


Yoga for morning sickness

The title of this post is kind of a lie. These poses won’t help with morning sickness. What I can promise you is that if you’re feeling like crap, but not so crappy that you can change positions without feeling dizzy or puking your guts out, these feel kind of good. And help you feel like you’ve accomplished something besides being a waste of space nauseous person growing a human being.

I’ve only taken one yoga class since the queasies began, during one of those first days when it was only intermittent nausea (yoga, how I miss you!). It was the kind of class that would normally make me pull my hair out: slow, gentle, not too warm in the room.

It kicked my butt three ways to Sunday, and I haven’t had a day since when I felt well enough to try even the slowest of classes again.

While I was in Hawaii with the fam, I had about an hour when I didn’t feel super awful miserable crappy, and my back was begging for a little release from its now-customary hunched up position. So I experimented with a few yoga poses and they didn’t make me ralph or feel like I was going to pass out.

Child’s pose

childs pose hawaii

Duh, I know. This is an easy one. I stayed here for a long, long time. Just in case it wasn’t safe to get up.

Cat / Cow

cat pose hawaii

These felt really great on my spine, which is feeling horridly crunchy and stiff after weeks of no activity. I had to take them nice and slow, though, to avoid the dizzies.

Rabbit pose

rabbit pose hawaii

I usually hate this pose. My forehead and my knees are never as close as my Bikram teacher said they should be. But again, for the crunchy spine, it worked, and since it’s basically the fetal position, it doesn’t feel too risky to get into.


Twist hawaii

Look! I’m actually smiling!

Ahhh this felt so glorious. Plus you get to be lying down, in a position that feels safe and oh-so-familiar. There’s zero risk to accidentally nodding off. Full disclosure: I may have verified that statement by taking a nap in this position.

Wearing: Skirt Sports Gym Girl Ultra, aka the BEST SKIRT EVER, and #sweatpink bro tank