Anubhava – Knowledge derived from personal experience
Process of most adaption, fatigue, nausea, low BP, shortness of breathe
I discovered I was pregnant at 10.5 weeks so I was already on my way toward entering the 2nd Trimester.
I tried my take my awareness away from my ‘need’ for a strong daily Asana practice toward a new thinking about the practice and what it was giving me. I was undergoing such enormous changes and instead of resisting the change, I felt the appropriate nature was to accept the shifting tides and to learn ‘ respect and accept‘ what I was going through.
I felt solace in sitting, bringing awareness to gentle breath-awareness and allowing myself time in deep-relaxation.
Pregnancy to this day; is the only thing that has given me windows of self-love and self-acceptance. It also blessed me with an innate ability to surrender to the process.
In my body during pregnancy, I felt juicy, soft and tender.
During the first 3 months, I was in process of letting go. I took nearly the first 3 months off strong asana. It was not a choice to suddenly stop practicing, but my body and mind were telling me that I needed sleep and rest. I have a heart condition that can affect my prana / energy. And at this time my prana was weaker than usual. Walking, breathing and yin coupled with some primary were my available options.
My baby growing inside me was now my priority.
Luckily enough as my pregnancy progressed, my strength and pranic fire increased and also progressed.
Early on, my flexibility increased dramatically as my tendons, ligaments softened and stretched. I had to be very careful not to over-stretch in my practice and to back-off certain asana.
Having an extremely low blood pressure, I was surprised at how much my blood volume / blood pressure increased as the body worked hard to produce and grow. This helped with feeling dizzy and previous history of fainting.
Sharath Jois ‘it is not simply about respecting the body, but about respecting the nature of the body‘.
By 31 weeks I had so much energy that I felt strong enough to practice 2nd series but my belly and accessibility to postures didn’t allow.
3RD Trimester - I practiced most of standing minus the twists and forward folds. Baddha-konasana, upavista konasana,
I taught yoga up until 30 weeks. And beacuse Taylah came 6 weeks early i continued in my secondary role as Sales , Marketing | Brand Manager until the day before birth.
My body didn’t grow that big so it was only in the last 7weeks that I felt restricted, a shortening of breathe and trouble sitting down for long periods. My mind didn’t feel that clear at times.
I was very lucky to be able to do as much as I could whilst I could. Even into the 4th Trimester i have been able to retain my love of my work and my craft. This was very important to me that i remained feeling connected and relevant.
BREATH WORK | BANDHAS | PELVIC FLOOR
I didn’t practice Bandhas at all whilst I was pregnant. I did work with TA activation and connection, coupled with specific pelvic floor exercises. I worked with some very experienced and trained Pilates Barre teachers who guided me through safe abdominal exercises, with props and gym balls.
Breathing.My pranayama was very light. I didn’t practice any breath retention, Jalandhahara or incorporation of sound. I maintained even level breathing and keep my jaw relaxed as much as I could.
I didn’t really change my diet too much from my usual vegetarian and super green palette but i did incorporate more protein via eggs, fish and lactose free yoghurt.
I craved heavier grounding foods like bread, cereal, and starchier vegetables.
At 20 weeks I developed a skin rash / irritation which I believe was a hormone change but luckily enough it disappeared a few weeks later. Interesting enough, the same thing happened in the first 2 weeks after giving birth.
Entering the 3rd trimester, my appetite greatly reduced again and breakfast and lunch were my bigger meals with dinner being much of a lighter option.
I am very grateful to have had my practice of Ashtanga yoga and very strong guidance from a lineage that promotes householders and becoming a mother.
Ashtanga has held me strong, within my body and my mind over the years. That coupled with my friends / teachers within the yoga community have held my hand as i weaved through the uncertainty.
I am fortunate to have a measurable within my life that brings me back to my centre.
Although it may take some time to return to my second series daily practice i am happy knowing what my body is capable of and the extremities it can go to. I love being a mum and feel so contented knowing i am raising a beautiful little boy x