If you know me, you’ll know I’m not the most graceful of ladies. I’ve always been tall, with a high centre of gravity (this is my excuse and I’m sticking to it), which makes for plenty of awkwardness and not much elegance when it comes to sports. This is why I was suited to rowing as the legs are fixed in the boat and the arms can only really row one way. Yoga, like for instance ballet, was never going to be something I would excel at. However, as I gave ballet a go when I was a young one (let’s not go there), I was willing to give pregnancy yoga a go if it helped me sail through the end of my pregnancy and labour.
I checked out the local options and came across Tara Killeen Yoga where pregnancy yoga classes were held once a week; so off I went with my fit ball, blanket and bottle of water. I was a bit late to this party at 34 weeks gestation but Tara reassured me that pregnancy yoga is beneficial and suitable at any stage of pregnancy. I was half expecting that I would have to try to contort myself into all sorts of weird and wonderful yoga positions but pregnancy yoga is far less precarious balancing and more gentle manoeuvres along with mindfulness and meditation.
It was a popular class with at least 12 other ladies of varying stages of pregnancy participating. It was a lovely bright room and Tara is the epitome of grace and wholesomeness despite being in her third trimester of pregnancy herself. I remember thinking – she is going to be fabulous in labour when her time came! I made sure to pick a space at the back of the room so nobody would be laughing at my attempt to follow the moves. I needn’t have worried though, most of the time eyes were cast down or closed in concentration and awareness of your own body.
Having attended physio at an earlier stage in pregnancy for back pain, I was impressed to see the crossover with yoga. Many of the exercises I had been given by the physio, I found myself doing as part of the pregnancy yoga classes. There’s a big focus on breathing, pelvic floor, relaxation and meditation. I’ve never been one for meditation but I found myself enjoying the end of the class where you focus on every part of your body and put everything else out of your mind. It was a little bit of “me time”, a rare few moments in the week when I didn’t think of what I needed to sort out before baby comes, what groceries are needed, what bills need to be paid, has the toddler eaten enough proper food today, is there fuel in my car, etc etc. To be able to switch off is priceless in the mad world of mammyhood!
I attended 3 pregnancy yoga classes in total, and even though I can’t definitely say they made a difference to my delivery, I do feel they had a positive effect on me. Of course, yoga is not for everyone and I don’t think I will ever be doing handstands with my legs folded in the air but it was enjoyable and I would recommend it to anyone pregnant even if just for a bit of time out from the daily grind.
I want to congratulate Tara on the birth of her baby girl since; she does have another yoga instructor running her classes while she is on maternity leave so do check out her website linked below. Pregnancy yoga is also available nationwide so check out google for your nearest classes.
To find out more about the benefits of yoga in pregnancy, check out Tara’s website here.
Disclaimer – I have not been paid to write this blog post or asked to mention any specific company or brand. I paid for the classes I attended and this is an honest account of my experience.