For as long as I can remember I have been the type of person that loves control. Controlling what I put into my body for fuel, how I exercise and presenting myself to the world in a certain way has always been a focus of mine. This kind of control can be a good thing to a point, but not when it becomes something that I base my value off of as a person. When I found out I was pregnant the first time, truth be told several thoughts came into my mind....What if I can't work out like I used to? Will my clothes still look good on me as my body grows for the baby? Am I going to be a cute pregnant lady or one that waddles around with a look of disparity on their face? I know these are all negative thoughts that deal with self-esteem, self-worth, and whatever other "self" focused word you want to use, but I can imagine other women have felt this way too and that I am not alone. Pregnancy has taught me more about letting go of my need for control and realizing my own selfishness more than any other stage of my life. Daily I have had to call upon and remember the promises of my value and worth and practice presence.
I am loved, I am accepted, I am beautiful, I am enough.
Remembering and dwelling on these promises or mantras have been huge for me during my first and second pregnancy. Practicing yoga, or staying active and moving in general in pregnancy is not an easy thing. Getting myself to move in some way everyday has not only given me a place to let go and accept myself, but also has alleviated much of the physical stressors brought onto the body by growing a little human being.
Continuing to practice & move!
The biggest benefit of prenatal yoga or staying active in pregnancy is learning to let go! Going through pregnancy and its myriad of physical and hormonal changes can be exhausting. Natural worries may emerge about your baby’s health, and the imminent transition to parenting can be stressful. There are so many reasons to practice prenatal yoga, and I have summarized some below.
Benefits specific to Prenatal Yoga
*Develops stamina and strength
*Relieves tension in the lower back, hips, chest, neck, and shoulders
*Calms the nervous system
*Preparation for labor
*Connection with baby
No matter where you are in your yoga practice or fitness level, pregnancy will change the way your body moves and responds activity. My favorite thing to remember is that my body was made to carry and birth a baby and that yoga is one way I have found that I can continue to move, breathe, and feel all of the changes my body is making on the mat.
Warrior 2 strengthens the muscles that support your joints at the hips. This is particularly important during pregnancy, since relaxin—a pregnancy hormone that relaxes your connective tissue—makes your joints less stable. Plus, the powerful nature of the pose will encourage feelings of strength and confidence. Tip: Position your front leg so that your knee, second toe, and hip are in a line, which reduces pressure on your front knee.
Try breathing deeply in & out for a few minutes with your eyes closed. Send your breath to the baby that is growing inside you. Think about the journey you will have together as mother and child....become empowered, feel loved, and safe. Motherhood is another part of this beautiful life, and I am finding strength in it all for the journey ahead.
Director of Operations
Originally published to the Westside Weekly Newspaper