Pregnant in Charlotte (part 3): Prenatal yoga

Pregnant in Charlotte (part 3): Prenatal yoga
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This is part 3 of Clay’s “Pregnant in Charlotte” series. Read part 1 –  To tell or not to tell and part 2 – Shopping for maternity wear

I recently hit the 20-week mark of my march toward childbirth. For those of you keeping track, that means I’m officially halfway there…unless the kiddo decides to arrive late. (Don’t do it, girl.)

With that milestone now behind me, and with another school year in the books, I decided last week it was time to get serious about exercise. Exercise has always been a major part of my life, and though I love a good class or other boot camp experience, something about being pregnant and going to the gym just wasn’t cutting it for me.

So, I made a commitment to myself to walk daily, or at least every other day.

And then that didn’t happen.

I could blame it on the morning sickness (a.k.a. all day sickness), but that lasted only until my 12-week appointment. I could also blame the end of the school year, one of the busiest times in a teacher’s life, but school’s out already. Or I could blame it on the heat wave that’s currently rocking the QC. But the truth of the matter is simply that I lost my motivation.

That is, until last week.

As I considered what I might write my next Agenda article about, I considered what kinds of goals I had for the second half of my pregnancy. Looming large was the exercise regimen I had most recently failed to participate in.

I picked up my computer, Googled prenatal yoga classes, and made the decision to go for it.

And today, I couldn’t be happier.

After researching the yoga studios closest to my home in Plaza Midwood, I made the decision to try out a prenatal class at Yoga One on Central Avenue. Having attended classes here last Fall, I felt comfortable with the studio and loved knowing I could walk both to and from class – you know, because if I’m going to commit to exercise, I’m really going to commit.

yoga-one-charlotte

According to the online schedule, classes are Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6:15-7:30pm. Though that’s a little later than I had hoped, I told myself “it’s summertime…I can handle it.”

Tuesday evening came. I packed my bag, and made my way to the studio, stopping only briefly to snap a few pics of the sun beginning to set over Uptown. #bonus

yoga-gear

charlotte-sunset

I arrived a few minutes before it began. I checked in, put my bag and keys in a cubby in the lobby, and made my way to Studio B. I snapped a couple of pics, picked a spot for my practice, grabbed a bolt, block, and strap, and made a pit-stop in the bathroom (because, ya know, I’m pregnant after all…and Baby Morrell loves hanging out on my bladder).

yoga

yoga-one-charlotte-nc

After that, I placed my phone back in my bag. As much as I would love to have pictures of the practice itself, doing so felt like an invasion of others’ privacy, as well as simply against the ideas of letting go that yoga stresses. If you were hoping for mid-practice pics, my apologies.

The class filled up quickly,some women chatted quietly with their neighbors while others rested on their mats or still more stretched out their pregnant bodies to prepare for what was to come.

Our teacher, Liz, entered the room, said hello, and made her way to the front of the room. She took a seat on a small block, and asked that we go around the room and introduce ourselves, say how far along we were in our pregnancy, and give any other info we felt like sharing. Though this was a new experience to me – chatting with others in my practice – it was wonderful. As Liz explained, the pregnant community is a special one, and it’s important that we who are going through it lean on one another in times of need.

How cool.

In the class of maybe 20-25, the “youngest” pregnancy was only 7 weeks along, and the “oldest” was 39 weeks. The 39-weeker was located directly to my right, and let’s just say I spent a good portion of the night’s practice convinced her water would break and I would somehow be involved in the delivery of her baby. Lucky for all of us, that never happened.

The practice itself was much like any standard flow class with only a few subtle changes:

(1) I wasn’t so hot I wanted to die. This was huge. My one beef with yoga classes in the area is the heat in even non-hot-yoga classes. Liz mentioned that for prenatal yoga she likes to keep the room at a comfortable 74-degrees. (#winning).

(2) Some standard modifications or poses are not included in the practice for the safety and protection of moms and their babies-to-be. (I first noticed this when, during our first Sun A, I nearly attempted Cobra as a substitute for Down Dog and suddenly realized that just wasn’t going to happen.) Again, Liz noted that she never likes to include poses that involve practitioners being flat on their bellies or backs, or any severe twists.

(3) The pressure to push myself beyond my limits wasn’t even a half-thought in my mind. Because a pregnant woman’s body is already working over-time in the nine months leading up to childbirth, there really is no reason to feel compelled to push oneself any further than one feels comfortable pushing. AND, with women nearly bursting at the seams, there was no competition to be seen. #refreshing.

As the 75-minute class came to an end, I looked around and relished the fact that I was once again back on the exercise bandwagon. And I loved that I was doing it with amazing women who were all, at least on some level, going through what I was going through. I felt energized and excited, and enjoyed my walk home ready to take on the next 20 weeks.

clay-morrell

If you’re like me, and you’re looking for a way to stay fit during your pregnancy, check out a yoga studio near you for a schedule of prenatal classes. And remember, always check with your doctor to be sure what you’re attempting is right for you and your baby.

Namaste.

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