So, this thing happened this week. I’ve been doing lots of yoga, because statistically yogis have shorter, easier labors, and I’m really trying to keep both of us happy and healthy.
One day in class, with a teacher I’d never taken from before, things were going along just swimmingly. I staked out a place by the wall so I could invert with backup, I kept my twists open, and I alternated shallow chaturangas with camel poses for my vinyasa.
We did some core work, all of which, for the record, I participated in, because it felt fine. Then, as we stood back up for the next pose, the instructor walked toward me, patted his lower abdomen a couple times, and said,
“Now THAT’s what you need to work on.”
I was so confused by his statement I just kind of stared at him. I hadn’t told him I was pregnant before class, so I wasn’t sure if he was referring to my baby bump, or if he was making a criticism about a supposed beer belly.
After class, during the put away your props and find your shoes shuffle, he said to me, “How’s that working out for you?”
“How’s WHAT working out?” I asked, and I think I saw him flinch.
“Movement. Yoga. You know, fitness,” was his copout response.
“Great.” I said. “I’m pregnant, so I modify, but overall I feel great.”
He then proceed to mansplain to me why yoga was so important during pregnancy and what muscles I should focus on to make birth easier.
Needless to say, I got out of there as fast as I could. I’m still not sure if he was aware that I was preggo when he made that first comment about my stomach, but either way, so inappropriate!!
It took me a couple days to process. I kept doubting myself and my reaction to that comment in class.
Did that really happen? Maybe I misheard? Surely it wasn’t done with any kind of ill intent, so I should just let it go.
At the end of the day, it’s really NOT a big deal. Yes, it’s wholly inappropriate, and potentially super offensive, but a remark like that shouldn’t have preyed on my thought patterns for a matter of days. What is a big deal is the mental gymnastics I went through trying to decide if my own experience deserved trusting. I can’t believe I didn’t believe my own ears, or that I went through the motions of making apologies for what was probably just a foot-in-the-mouth dumbass slip of a comment.
Isn’t the whole point of yoga trusting your body, your experience, and your intuition?
Here’s what I’ve come down to, after a couple of days of ruminating:
- I’m never going back to that class.
- Giving birth is pretty much the last thing I’d like to get mansplained about.