So here we are, 29 weeks into the production.
11 weeks to go, give or take a couple, if everything goes according to plan – which I’m assured it almost never does, but it helps to have something to aim for.
Kid is trucking right along and seems to be hitting the major milestones of growing, kicking, punching and causing heartburn right on schedule. I can’t really say that the heartburn has been too bad though, only a couple of nights after eating Mexican food late in the evening. I learned my lesson on that one – Chili Verde is off the menu until April, no matter how tasty the damn thing is.
I’ve also made my way back into yoga with some renewed enthusiasm, after being lucky enough to be invited to take classes with the teachers of my teacher! My teacher, Emma Tranter studied under Betty Larsen, who has studied directly under BKS Iyengar himself (and a host of others) and has over 30 years experience. I’m super happy that they welcomed me in all pregnant and waddling, and I’ve really enjoyed getting a ton of tips on how to modify to accommodate the baby. Prenatal yoga as presented in many online outlets hasn’t resonated with me, so being able to keep up my regular practice to a decent extent with those modification has been awesome. I still include inversions to a degree (with props and a spotter) and I swear the kid loves going upside down. I had a pretty strong inversion practice before – but if you haven’t been kicking up into a handstand on a regular basis – pregnancy is not the time to start.
Being alignment yoga, there is naturally a lot of focus on the technique of the asanas (poses). Betty also does an incredible job of getting you to approach your practice with your thought on the breath, and focus on the yamas and niyamas, with an almost meditative quality. Last week we went deeply into the groin area and the focus was on release. Us westerners tend to store a whole lot of tension in the hips and groin and runners/cyclists often add on top of that some imbalances specific to their sport.
Pregnancy comes with its own challenges – tilting of the pelvis, extra weight to carry and then in the later stages – the dance of the hormones to prepare muscles and ligaments for delivery.
For the groin class, Betty spoke about working the muscles of the groin in a manner of softening into release, and then release into opening. I can’t really think of a better mantra for birth than that one – and if I can tame my breath and muscles to go with it, I hope it will allow me to be as relaxed as I can be.