Confession: I’ve never actually attended a yoga class in my life. Let me explain…
I’ve been a pilates girl for the last 3 and a half years. I even got to a point where I enjoyed it so much that I decided I should become a pilates teacher and I went and studied a pilates matwork course.
I didn’t land up continuing down that path but I did learn a great deal about my body and anatomy in the process and I use that info every day, from the way I sit in my car while driving to the way I relax on the couch while watching a movie.
When I found out I was pregnant 30 weeks ago (only 10 weeks to go now!), I decided that I was going to make pilates a part of my daily practice so I could stay fit and strong throughout my pregnancy. But as the weeks went on and my tummy grew bigger, I started to skip a couple days here and there until eventually, I found myself waking up a little later everyday and totally neglecting my practice.
By 26 weeks pregnant the thought of dragging myself out of bed to do any form of exercize seemed like the biggest effort in the world. It was around this time that I also started to experience mild lower back pain and shooting pains down the back of my legs on waking in the morning.
I knew that this had a lot to do with the fact that I had become lazy and unfit and that my body was starting to feel the effects of the extra baby weight as well as all the pregnancy hormones rushing through my system loosening my ligaments and preparing my body for childbirth.
On climbing out of bed one morning the pain shot down my leg so badly that it scared me. Right then I knew that if I wanted any chance of having a natural birth I would need to up my game in the fitness department. I felt extremely disappointed in myself for letting my pilates practice get away from me so badly.
I had basically forgotten my pilates exercizes by this stage so I decided to turn to YouTube and search for a pilates class online that I could follow every morning. I also decided that 45 minutes of pilates every morning was waaay to hectic and that I would start out with 10 minutes and build up from there.
So I typed into YouTube “10 minute pregnancy pilates workout” and I was presented with an array of awesome videos to choose from. (Don’t you just love the internet?!) In and amongst those pilates videos were a couple “pregnancy yoga” workouts which sparked my interest. I had never really done yoga myself but I knew it had very similar movements to pilates and well, it seemed to work for Gisele Bundchen, so I decided to give it a try.
After scanning through a couple videos I landed on one that appealed to me – hot pregnant mama giving a 10 minute yoga class in her home studio, lets do this!
For me pilates has always been a mind and body practice, and I think that’s why I enjoy it so much. It’s not just sweat, jump, punch, stretch, it’s more mindful in the way that you need to be aware of your breath and what your muscles are actually doing.
This yoga workout was very similar in that regard, yet it added another element – spirit.
Mind, body and spirit. Yes!
This is what was missing from the private pilates classes I had been giving myself. And that is why it had begun to feel like a chore that I had to do each morning. And that is why I had let it slide.
The simple actions of closing my eyes, bringing my hands into prayer pose, taking a few deep breaths in and out, then taking one hand to my heart and the other hand to my baby and setting my intentions for the 10 minute practice ahead took me into a totally different zone.
This felt more like “me time” than “workout time”. I felt more of a connection and respect to the little dude / dudette growing inside me and I felt instantly energized for the day ahead and all that came with it (and I hadn’t even done any exercize yet!)
The yoga workout itself was very similar to the pilates that I was used to but with a bit more flow and stretching incorporated.
If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath. ~ Amit Ray
I now look forward to the 10 minutes of “me time” that I’ve set aside and it’s become as normal for me to do my yoga practice as it has for me to turn on the kettle and make my morning cup of chai. It’s totally changed the way I go about each day.
I feel a sense of clarity, purity and a connection to the world around me. I feel healthy and alive.
Who knew that just 10 minutes of yoga every morning would make such a difference in my working productivity levels (mind), my pregnancy aches and pains (body) and the way I actually feel (spirit) about my body.
If you’re currently a pregnant mama, below is one of my favourite yoga YouTube videos and I encourage you to give it a go! If you’re not a pregnant mama, then go and do a search for “10 minute beginner yoga workouts” and you’ll be presented with hundreds of results. Or better yet if you have the extra time in your schedule, join a class!
And if you’re a yogi yourself and have any advice, videos or experiences of your own that you’d like to share, feel free to leave them in the comments area below. We’d love to hear from you!