Friday, September 21, 2012

At eight months pregnant, it's slow goin'

I like being active. It makes me feel good and reduces stress. Since I had my son, two and a half years ago, it has been a challenge to fit in both my daily power walks and yoga. So, I had to scale back and usually did one or the other. Not ideal for me, but I did what I could and mostly was happy with it.

Once I was pregnant with my second, I knew I had to stay active. I gain a lot (a lot!) of weight while I'm pregnant and the two things that ease the aches and pains that go along with that are power walking and yoga. So, when I'm pregnant, walking and yoga are no longer merely nice activities that I would like to fit it; they become absolute necessities.

My family moved back to the city from the suburbs this year and that created the perfect opportunity for me to get my walk in, regularly. Everyday, I walk 2.5 miles to work.

This week I am eight months pregnant and as I made my way to work, I realized that I was walking much more slowly than usual. On Monday, I thought it was just because I was having one of those VERY pregnant days. On Tuesday, I had to take stock and realize that as I become more and more pregnant, I am going to have to make accommodations for the baby growing within. 

So, by Wednesday, I had to adjust my plans a bit. My body and my baby are telling me that things are changing.  It's time to slow down and focus on what baby needs to feel good inside my body. At this point, baby is pretty much the boss. What he says goes.

I'm still walking to work, and I am still in powerful exercise mode, it's just slower. I need to leave the house a bit earlier and I need to be flexible. If, halfway through my walk, it doesn't feel good anymore, I may need to slow it down to a crawl. I may even need to stop and take a rest on a bench, something I wouldn't normally consider.

How long will I keep walking to work? With my last pregnancy, I was able to exercise right up until the night before Josias' birth. Since I know it keeps me healthy and feeling good, I hope that can happen with this baby. If, for some reason, it doesn't, though, we'll figure something else out. And then, before I know it, I won't be pregnant anymore and I'll be looking for ways to fit in exercise and yoga with two kids!

How have you had to change your exercise schedule to accommodate life changes?

Monday, September 10, 2012

My "home" yoga practice during pregnancy

I am almost eight months pregnant. As with my previous pregnancy, yoga is a central part of taking care of myself and the baby I am creating. A lot has changed since my last pregnancy, though, and so has my yoga practice. 

The biggest difference with this pregnancy is that I am not only nurturing the life growing inside of me, I am also nurturing the life that we created almost two and a half years ago. I have precious little time to focus on taking care of myself when I am trying to keep up with a toddler.

I simply don't have time to practice yoga when I am home with Josias. I know however, that I MUST practice yoga. So, yet again, I made a change in how, when and where I practice. One of the things I loved about my home yoga practice was the silence and the stillness. It was the only place that I found the kind of space where I could slow down, reflect and try to connect with my True Self.

Even though that is what I loved most about my home practice, in order to keep practicing, I had to give that part up. My new "home" practice is at the gym located in the basement of my office building. About 3 times a week, during my lunch break, I head down there for a twenty to thirty minute practice.

The gym is not set up for yoga. It is set up for sweaty runners and weight lifters who like to watch obnoxious television programs while they are exercising. Great for them, not ideal for yoga.

My alternative, however, is no yoga. So, I decided to try to be flexible with what it means to practice yoga and what I hope to get out of it. With my new practice, I do not experience the silence and stillness that I once enjoyed. I do experience the beauty of opening up my shoulders and hips; gently bending and twisting my back; and gratitude for feeling good in my current body, which happens to be rather large and cumbersome.

What I know now is that my home yoga practice will always change. Nothing stays the same, but if I can ride the tide of change, adjust my expectations and go with the flow, it will always be possible to feel the peace and gratitude that comes with my yoga practice. Namaste. Thank you.

How has your home yoga practice changed over time?