It was right around the time of my recent mental breakdown that a neighbor recommended a place for prenatal yoga. She raved about it, in a very you'll-thank-me-later kind of way. A woman in her thirties that has now gained fifteen pounds and wakes up with cramped calves once a night takes good advice when she hears it.
I've stated my feelings about yoga and a few times in this blog, so I'll spare you the 'I'm leery of hippies' speech. Let's just say that during my first class, when my teacher said, 'The goddess in me honors the goddess in you' as we left, it was all I could do to keep my snort from becoming audible. Goddess-- she clearly hasn't seen my thighs lately.
But despite the 'let's begin class with three chanting Ohms....' and 'send a love note down to your babies in your downward facing dogs', I am completely hooked. I realized this morning that prenatal yoga is the great equalizer. Women who once might have dominated their spin classes sit on their mats massaging their cankles. Women who might have gotten judgemental looks in the locker room at the gym look sympathetically at the girls barely able to make it through class without puking. And we all have this wonderful excuse to tune into our bodies. Case in point-- the Miss Fitness USA-looking woman next to me today said, 'You know what? Squats are just not going to happen today.' And that's totally okay.
You'd think that a woman in her thirties who does yoga up to five times a week would be pretty awesome at it by now, but I have unfortunate news: I still completely suck. I sometimes sweat and breathe my way through my warrior series praying, 'Please God(dess), don't let my baby inherit my old lady back'. But I am starting to get what the yogies have been saying all this time about breath and life, about salutations and inward focus. It's helped in the past weeks when construction workers have been in and out of our home. It's helped when I started to create a baby registry and thought I was going to pass out thinking about all the stuff we are going to need for this child. It's helped when I wake up multiple times at night having nightmares about being a bad Mom.
I am a long way from seeing myself as a goddess, but I'll admit that prenatal yoga has been one of the best gifts I've given myself in a long time (that and TiVo). So with that, I am off to the dentist to put all these deep breathing practices to use. Namaste.