It's only been a week since my prenatal yoga class ended. A week ago today, so tonight will feel very empty to me. It was a six week session, and quite possibly the best $60 I've ever spent. As I reflect on the benefits of doing prenatal yoga, I can't help but think about their place in my own practice:
1) Finding relaxation: I would get so relaxed during breathing exercises that I'd literally feel myself start to crumble from an upright, seated position. I never really knew breathing could do that to someone, and I'll carry that feeling with me as I fight for relaxation during labor.
2) Alleviating pain: I've had a relatively pain free pregnancy. Perhaps I owe it to the yoga (and the exercise). Especially in these last few months.
3) Sleeping better: Falling asleep is starting to become an issue, mostly because I can't get comfortable. The belly is so big! So I've learned to channel the Darth Vader, yoga way of breathing in through the nose and out through the throat. Again, it truly does help me relax.
4) Strengthening muscles: Well, obviously. It might be slow and steady, but holding those poses with an extra bit of poundage at your waist is no small task.
5) Finding support: I enjoyed meeting other moms, some of which have been through pregnancy. We swapped stories, some of us. We learned from each other, and learning is never a bad thing.
As for the last two benefits—easing delivery and recovery—I'll have to get back to you on those. Until then, I'm turning to the Internet for my weekly class. In particular, the 25-minute version of Prenatal Yoga #1 from YogaDownload. I have the audio, and some handy flow charts. A clip from the charts:
Prenatal Vinyasa Flow class, but I'm not sure how easy it will be for me to relax into the practice if I'm constantly having to look at a series of images. Perhaps I'll just have to channel my inner ohm.
Question: What websites do you turn to for free yoga classes?