Yoga + Baby Bumps.
photo by Melinda Guajardo
As some of you may remember, I confessed a love for spin as my preferred choice in a workout activity, and so this post may come as contradictory to you. But I'm sorry, even though I may have played Bey for a day once upon a time, I'm not sure I could muster up the courage/ambition as she has during her current pregnancy (with twins, mind you) to attend a spin class.
But, being pregnant hasn't stopped me from working out completely. Currently where I work, yoga comes to us every Wednesday via Core Power Yoga, which is pretty convenient, because otherwise I'm not sure I'd actually make it to the gym. Our instructor is awesome at reassuring me on which poses I can do or providing alternatives if you know, baby bump is in the way. She also lets me skip all the core work, while whispering, "because your core is already doing a ton of work right now." :) Simply put, I love her.
For all you other mommies-to-be though, I've tapped Ashley Sondergaard, also of Core Power - specifically, the studio manager at the Grand Ave location. As a mom herself, she knows and understands what it's like to jump into prenatal workouts and all the worries of hurting baby during that process (I even ponder this as I'm trying to relax during a prenatal massage). She was kind enough to answer some of my burning questions regarding best yoga poses for prenatal workouts + even how to get back into shape after. Enjoy & namaste! (PS. I totally do not wear all this jewelry during a workout...OK, on a few rare occasions I've forgotten to take off the bling! Can you blame a girl? #PregnancyBrain)
- General workout tips for moms-to-be, workouts that we can still do as our baby bumps grow + help with ligament/growing pains?
As an avid practitioner and yoga teacher, I have always been aware of my body. When I became pregnant, that completely changed. I needed to relearn postures, listen to my body and be comfortable with the unexpected. As my belly grew, yoga made me feel more and more graceful (something I was not experiencing off the mat). I practiced until the day I went into labor and felt stronger than ever during the birth of my daughter. If you practiced yoga before you were pregnant, my best advice for mamas-to-be is to keep practicing. Take a day off if you’re feeling tired or just want to relax, but don’t let it go too long. The movement, the flow, the breath, the meditation will keep you grounded in those final and most challenging days of pregnancy. If you did not have a very frequent yoga practice prior to pregnancy, make sure you are checking with your doctor on what’s best for you based on your regular routine.
- Specifically when it comes to yoga, poses/exercises that are good/easy for prenatal/pregnant women/baby?
There are so many wonderful postures for pregnant women, so I’ll highlight my favorites:
Warrior II – Talk about strong lady vibes. This fierce warrior pose stretches the legs, swollen ankles and can relieve back pressure. Bonus – Warrior II provides a perfect view of your awesome baby bump!
Tree pose – Yes, a baby in the middle of the body does toy with balance, but growing tall and strong in this single leg standing postures allows the body to feel alive and beautiful. Try kick standing the foot to provide more stability in the foundation.
Half pigeon – This hip opener relieves back pain and preps your hips for further opening. It’s important to pay attention to your body in this posture and to avoid over stretching. With a growing baby bump, it may feel best to stay upright. Earlier on in pregnancy, perhaps reclining all the way onto the forehead feels great!
Supported savasana – Lie onto your back and put a block underneath the knees and a towel underneath the head. I never thought I would be able to enjoy savasana since it required lying down on the back. Not true. Reap the benefits of everyone’s favorite posture with this easy prop modification!
- I hear that being active/working out during pregnancy can actually help your body heal faster after giving birth, in that case - how often should expectant mothers be working out/intensity level?
Listen to your body and always check with a doctor. Mamas know their body best. A great rule of thumb is if you’re short of breath and unable to talk in a regular conversation, it’s time to back off. Avoid starting a new workout routine – if you did yoga before pregnancy, keep doing it, but maybe avoid trying CrossFit for the first time.
- Tips for getting back into shape after pregnancy?
Don’t rush it! It takes 9 months for your body to prep for baby and that same amount (sometimes longer) to fully heal. Your body just performed a miracle – give it some yoga love and breathe easy. Once you receive the clear from your doctor, come back to your yoga practice as you feel ready. Amp up your protein intake (helps with breastfeeding as well) and slowly work to increase intensity in your practice. CorePower Yoga delivers a workout that is physical and mindful – all in one efficient hour. We offer classes that work every muscle and every emotion, and range in challenge, flow and style to fit every experience level. Each of our classes is specifically designed to fire up your strength, ignite your intent and build your core.