Prenatal yoga: it’s not for babies

So it turns out that I really like prenatal yoga.
Which is a surprise considering how I feel about yoga.
I like it for good and bad reasons.
The Good Reasons:
Prenatal yoga, or a least the class I’m taking, is surprisingly intense.
I figured we’d be laying around, rubbing our tummies and saying om, but No ma’am/sir! We are doing wall-assisted hand-stands like almost every class.
I mean, I’ve almost never been asked to do a wall assisted handstand in a Regular yoga class.
This prenatal stuff is hard core.
Another good thing: before each class starts the teacher has us each say our name, how far along we are, and what’s up.
As in, “Hi, I’m Adult Beginner, I’m eighteen weeks, and as of my last appointment I am now, officially, heavier than I’ve ever been in my entire life, which I think is kind of a cool milestone!”
And then everyone laughs and says stuff like, “yeah it’s fun now, just wait until you’re twenty pounds heavier than you’ve ever been in your life!”
And then other people say their name and week and bring up sleep issues and the glucose test and dealing with their health insurance and starting their childbirth classes and other things that are neat to hear about and start thinking about.
And then there are The Bad Reasons:
Prenatal yoga is a major body-image boost.
Had my first prenantal class a week after my last ballet class, and was still kind of reeling from Smirnoff basically holding up a picture of Jabba The Hut and saying THIS EQUALS YOU. It was not until I was in that prenatal yoga class, looking around the other ladies, that I was like, Wait! No! Uh-uh! I am in really good shape! I look Way Better than these other bitches! Man I hope my butt doesn’t get that huge, but at least it didn’t start out that way!
Another good thing: No Sun Salutations in prenatal yoga!
Srsly so bored of those fucking things.
Attention Yoga Teachers of the World: there has Got to be another way to build heat or whatever! Please get creative and don’t bore us to death!
Other day when we were going around introducing ourselves, I asked the teacher, “So, before getting pregnant I took ballet for two years, and my midwives have asked me to take a break from that, which I’m fine with, but their reason was that dancers have very strong abs and that can be a problem, what do you think about that?”
And the teacher sez, “well, that’s kind of a controversial subject!”
And I’m like, in my head: yeah no kidding.
She sez, “I used to not teach any ab stuff whatsoever in my prenatal classes. But then, when I was pregnant, it actually felt good to me and didn’t seem to be causing any trouble, so I don’t think it’s a big deal. Unless you’re starting out with, like, six-pack abs.”
Which people always like to bring up but I think is not a good argument because six-pack abs are a matter of fat distribution, not strength.
When I was like eighteen years old and at the doctor for my first well-woman exam, I remember the doctor poking my lower belly and being like, “(poke poke) there’s you right ovary. Every thing feels fine. (poke poke poke) You have very strong abs.”
And I was like, “Shuh!”
And the doctor was like, “no, really. (poke) Very strong.”
And I was like, “if they’re so strong, why don’t I have a six-pack?”
And the doctor was like, “oh it’s there, it’s just under a layer of fat. Which is very healthy. Keeps your organs insulated. (poke) Here’s your left ovary, everything feels fine.”
Anyway, so the yoga teacher went on to say the thing about strong abs is not exactly that they don’t expand, it’s more like they contract strongly but then don’t release very much between contractions. And then she said she figures the real issue with ballet would be that turn-out closes the back of the pelvis, and you want a nice open pelvis.
And now I catch myself standing in fifth and fourth all the time, at my table at work, in fittings with movie stars, in line at the grocery store.
Had no idea I was doing that!
Totally subconscious!
So now I’m working on parallel feet.


About adultbeginner

Had my first ballet class Ever at the advanced age of thirty-two. Yikes.
This entry was posted in ce n'est pas une mom blog, the Body and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Prenatal yoga: it’s not for babies

  1. bippidee says:

    Baby yoga sounds like scary shit! I think if I tried to do a handstand, even if it were assisted by a wall, I would fall flat on my face. And then with a baby to be protecting in your tummy that must be even scarier. And they think ballet is bad to do whilst you’re pregnant – you should tell them about the hardcore baby yoga!

    • Word on the street is the wall assisted handstand feels *amazing* once you get all huge and stuff because the inversion lifts the heavy belly away from your back and pelvis.

  2. “six-pack abs are a matter of fat distribution”? Why didn’t anybody tell me? Since five years I’m working those abs in dance class and they never showed up. Reminds me of Santa Claus: nobody ever saw him but he must have been there…

  3. roriroars says:

    You know, the pelvis thing makes way more sense to me than the abs thing. Not sure I feel that turnout it the big issue, but the position of the pelvis expected in ballet is definitely not realistic in pregnancy.

    Oh, and the handstand thing… so one of my friends is, like, 27 weeks or something (different friend than my last comment… seriously, all my friends seem to be turning up pregnant lately… it’s kind of bizarre). So she was doing a performance with the group that involved a headstand and the crowd was all, Ooooh, is that Safe for a Pregnant Lady to stand on her HEAD?! And she was like, dudes, with all this center-of-gravity-shifting I feel more stable on my head than on two feet! Craziness. I can’t do any of that shit with a vacant uterus, so I salute all of you!

    • It’s is really really cool to see the 30 week-ers hand-standing on the wall like it ain’t no thang. Very encouraging.
      Funny how ballet definitely makes your arms strong, like at first I’d have to take little breaks from holding arms out in second, and then after a while I’d totally forget about them, like they’d gotten strong enough to just stay out in second forevs, but ballet strong is so different from yoga strong, that first class back to yoga was like: resting pose my ass! Down dog is hard!

  4. Anony Mouse says:

    does today count as your first Mother’s Day?!!!!!!!

    isn’t it great to get clear or at least logical explanations?! i mean, when you have a brain that questions everything, incomplete explanations or ones that don’t make complete sense are annoying.

    maybe prenatal yogi knows of prenatal ballet classes! although giving it a rest may be welcome too. especially when replaced with something new and interesting.

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