22 Weeks: Things I Love About Prenatal Yoga

April 30, 2012

Not all prenatal yoga classes are the same, but I sure do love my class! It’s not all what I expected. I thought it would be just like a regular yoga class with modifications for big bellies. But in actuality, it’s more like a childbirth class with a few traditional yoga poses thrown in.

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Me Time

Our class begins with 20-30 minutes of share time. We go around the room, one-by-one, and share our name, weeks of pregnancy and any highs or lows of the week. Our instructor Jen, who is also a doula, gives great experiential advice and suggestions on what remedies or solutions might help our ailments.

I know it’s a false impression, but I love the sense that during this hour, no matter how busy the day or week is, this hour of class is about mom and the new baby inside. Aside from the physical, the mental break is one part of class I really look forward to.

Synchronized “Swimming”

We then spend about 40-45 minutes in a series of stretches designed to open the hips, increase flexibility and decrease aches and pains. Class changes from week to week, but we usually begin with cat + cow stretches, pelvic circles and other motions. Things you might be embarrassed to do in a co-ed setting!

We usually do at least warrior I and II during class, a handful of squats and hamstring stretches. The worst type of squat is called campers pose, and the week after I blogged about it, Jen actually talked us through it as a mental game like a contraction. (For the record, it was twice as long and I have yet to make it all the way through without a break….she did say though that one mom reported after the fact that camper’s pose was harder than labor!)

A lot of times we end up doing some chest movements – arms this way or that – that looks like synchronized swimming and a dance class combined. It’s kind of beautiful to watch in the mirrors!

Meditation

Class ends with 10 minutes of “rest” where we get in various poses – legs up the wall, lying on a bolster, etc – for time to think about the baby. My favorite part of class for sure!

Support

Most of all, I really love how it just feels to be in a room full of other women going through a similar life-changing experience. I’ve never been through anything quite like this, and while I don’t really know the names of too many of the women yet, it’s still great bonding to just be in the room together. I like to think all of us are in total support of one another – all good vibes.

Missing Big Mamas

One drawback – people disappear!! After you reach week 30 (I think!), you are welcomed into the “Big Mama” group. And as women approach 40 weeks, there is always excitement when “this might be my last class comes,” and for those getting induced in the next few days, they know it’s their last class. I’ve only been going for about 2 months, but already it’s sad when you get there one week and women are missing. I almost wish there was a time each month set aside for the new moms to come back and share some tips and their babies to see (if they are able and comfortable). Monthly yoga reunions?!

I’m looking forward to mommy + me yoga someday too – perhaps that is the bridge to continue this enjoyable class!

PREVIOUS WEEKS

4 weeks

5 weeks

6 weeks

7 weeks

8 weeks

9 weeks

10 weeks

11 weeks

12 weeks

13 weeks

14 weeks

15 weeks

16 weeks

17 weeks

18 weeks

19 weeks

20 weeks

21 weeks

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kristy @ KristyRuns April 30, 2012 at 8:07 am

Sounds like fun! Minus the other moms-to-be leaving. You should definitely do a yoga reunion!

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2 Natalie April 30, 2012 at 8:38 am

I love this post! As a prenatal instructor its good to hear how students are feeling and not always letting me know what things they enjoy. I notice my girls love the beginning 15 min where we chat, and sometimes I think they’d be fine not moving at all!! haha.

As a pregnant instructor, I love teaching this for the same reason you like taking… the community of amazing women I meet and get to chat about things going on with our pregnancy. Great Post!

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3 Amy April 30, 2012 at 8:40 am

I miss prenatal yoga!! Always a highlight of my week — it feels kind of strange to not have it be a part of my routine anymore. I wish there was a postpartum yoga class just to continue the support and community!

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4 Amy April 30, 2012 at 8:41 am

Oh, and one more thing: camper’s pose. NOT HARDER THAN LABOR. :-)

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5 KERF April 30, 2012 at 9:31 am

Hahaha.

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6 Sabrina April 30, 2012 at 10:58 am

I second this comment.

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7 Allison K April 30, 2012 at 12:43 pm

I will be overjoyed if camper’s pose is harder than labor!!!! :)

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8 Julie H. of Spinach and Sprinkles April 30, 2012 at 8:46 am

What a wonderful experience each class must be. I have to admit- I am quite jealous of the support system and all of the info you must gain from other moms to be. …..I need to learn how to do some of those poses that open the hips and prepare the muscles for childbirth- mine are so stinking tight. Eeek!!! I need to work on that!
Happy Monday!

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9 Connie April 30, 2012 at 10:01 am

Sounds like a great class? In the first photo there are men and you are outdoors. Are there classes for moms and dads together?

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10 KERF April 30, 2012 at 10:02 am

That’s just a visual of group yoga I did with my family once :0

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11 Amanda Perry @ Sistas of Strength April 30, 2012 at 10:11 am

Sounds like you are having so much fun!!! :) I wish I had found a prenatal yoga class while I was pregnant, but there weren’t many nearby!

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12 JT @The Faux Foodie Girl April 30, 2012 at 10:38 am

I loved my prenatal class – it was a great “mental” hour and a half relaxation. What my prenatal teacher did, is she organized Saturday morning walks in a local park so all new moms could get out of the house, breath some fresh air, talk with other moms, either come alone or bring their babies and the current students were invited too. It was a great bonding time for new moms and also for the moms to be to and to see what happens after. To this day (a year later) we have now created a Sunday “Yoga Mammas” group and we meet on Sundays in the same park with our kids and always do some time of a picnic – it’s probably my favorite time!

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13 Averie @ Averie Cooks April 30, 2012 at 11:45 am

childbirth class with a few traditional yoga poses thrown in = the best possible combo, IMO! Sounds like this is going to pay off in spades in about 18 weeks! Glad you’re enjoying it all so much!

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14 Angel7 April 30, 2012 at 11:49 am

If camper’s pose is harder than labor, I do not think that I would be able to endure it :) I would try it out, though.

http://faithfulsolutions.blogspot.com/

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15 Lindsey April 30, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Your class sounds a lot like the one I have been taking since 13 weeks (I am now 38.) I just love the class and the time to focus on all things baby and me. We also do some breathing meditation and pelvic lifts. The women who have had their babies often send birth annoucments that our shared with the class and they rave about how yoga helped and which breathing techniques or position helped during labor.

Our instructor also did a labor and delivery workshop which I attended with my husband. It was great for him to learn some of the breathing and how to do adjustments in certain poses to help with an achy tailbone and such. tI am so excited to tey out everything I have been practicing in the next couple weeks!

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16 KERF April 30, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Written notes read aloud is a great idea!

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17 Lindsey May 1, 2012 at 6:31 am

Sorry about the spelling and grammar in the above post. Posting from my phone is not a great idea! It is nice to hear from the new moms and see the baby photos :)

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18 Allison K April 30, 2012 at 12:44 pm

It looks like the Matt’s need some help with their warrior positions! ;-)

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19 Anna @ On Anna's Plate April 30, 2012 at 4:24 pm

I loved my class– and in the class I took, mamas are welcome back to class anytime with their new babies, which I think is so cool. I’m waiting a few more weeks with Lila, but I can’t wait to take her back!

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20 Daphna April 30, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Sounds great! Are most of the pregnant women first-time moms?

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21 KERF April 30, 2012 at 8:24 pm

I’m not really all that sure, but many of them have mentioned another pregnancy, so I doubt it

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22 Maura @ My Healthy 'Ohana April 30, 2012 at 8:53 pm

I have to look into prenatal yoga classes here, that sounds like a lot of fun! I never did it with my first pregnancy, but I can see how it would have lots of benefits, both physically and mentally :)

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23 Nancy April 30, 2012 at 9:34 pm

Another thing you may really enjoy after your baby arrives is a new mom’s group – your hospital may sponsor one. I went to one (sponsored by our hospital) that was moderated by an RN, and in addition to being a great resource for information (nursing questions, feeding questions, postpartum questions, etc.), what it was most importantly about was fellowship with other women who were in the same clueless situation. I was the only mom in our group with twins, but those ladies were my rock in those early weeks and months when I didn’t know which end was up. That one hour a week was something I truly relished and anticipated. Five years later, many of us are still friends and still offer each other moral support with whatever new phase our kiddos are experiencing.

I hope you find a group like that if you are interested. :-) It was truly special for me. And, for many new moms who find it daunting to think of getting out of the house with the baby (or babies), it’s a great motivation!

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