Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Uber-Pregnant Yoga

Butterfly, Warrior 2, & Tree Pose at 36.5 weeks

I'm now 10 days past my due date! I'm still practicing yoga and thought I would share just what that looks like at this stage in the game! (Please note this is my personal experience and not meant as medical advice. Always check with your doctor before engaging in any exercise program, especially when pregnant.)

Before my practice today I took a walk to get warmed up. Typically in a Vinyasa yoga class we begin with flowing yoga poses to heat the body and prepare for holding postures and more deeply stretching the body later in our practice. Since it is pretty challenging for me (and not recommended at this stage of pregnancy) to move quickly enough to warm up my muscles with Sun Salutations or the like, a walk helped me warm up safely.

I started my yoga practice with some Diaphragmatic Breathing in Child's Pose (with my knees wide to make room for my belly). Then I moved through some Cat/Cow (one of my favorite poses for pregnancy). I briefly went into Downward Facing Dog (I don't recommend any more than 3 breaths in this pose, especially in the last trimester) and then a Standing Forward Fold (with a big bend in my knees to keep the lower back safe). Next I rose up to Mountain and then into Squat Pose with Mula Bandha (another highly recommended pose for pregnancy). From my squat, I gently rocked back onto my seat and moved into Butterfly Pose, taking a gentle forward fold (being mindful to use an inhale to lengthen the spine and an exhale to hinge forward from the hips). I spent several breaths here, letting my hips open and focusing on relaxing into the pose. I finished up with some variations on Wide-Angle Seated Forward Fold to continue opening my hips and a seated meditation, using a bolster for support.

A very gentle and slow moving practice and it felt good! Did you practice yoga during your pregnancy? What was your favorite pose? Feel free to share in the comments or on our studio Facebook page.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Top Five Fabulous Things About Being 41+ Weeks Pregnant

Megan and I on my due date

I've been on maternity leave for two weeks now! My due date (May 21st) has come and gone and still no sign of baby making his or her arrival into the world! I'm working on relaxing and being patient while enjoying every last moment of pregnancy! Sure there are lots of challenging things about being SO pregnant, but let's focus on the positive!

Me at 40 weeks, 6 days

Top Five Fabulous Things About Being 41+ Weeks Pregnant:

1. It is physically impossible to rush around. Seriously, being this big there is no way I can "run" anywhere or hurry through anything. I'm finding it's much easier to savor the moment when I'm moving so slowly.

2. Zero expectations. There really is no "making plans" at this point in my pregnancy. It's impossible to have an agenda of any sort. Any moment could be THE moment that things get going so that means every day is wide open with possibilities. It's beautiful to wake up every morning and think, "Hey, I'm still pregnant! What should I do today?"

3. Celebrating small accomplishments. Today I blow dried my hair! And put on make-up! I went to the grocery store! I folded laundry! Whooo - hooo!!! The littlest things feel so big to me now that I have no expectations of myself.

4. Wide open space. So much free time! Something I am not used to at all, but I am loving it! Yesterday I spent hours just sitting on my grandparents' patio chatting and watching birds - what a lovely luxury! My husband and I were joking that we've seen each other more in the past two weeks while I've been on maternity leave than we have in the past two months. Unscheduled time truly is a beautiful gift! Especially when it is guilt-free!

5. Infinite lessons in patience, trust, and surrender. Waiting to go into labor is unlike any other kind of waiting. There is so much hope and excitement and worry and frustration and discouragement and joy and just about everything else one can imagine! Combine all of that with intense hormones and you've got yourself one wild roller coaster ride! But really, what can you do about it? Nothing really! I mean of course I have tried every labor-inducing thing I've heard of, but none of it has made any difference. I might as well sit back and relax into my situation instead of trying to fight it!

As I read over my list I see that all of these ideas can be incorporated into our daily lives. Being super pregnant may make it easier to choose to slow down, let go of expectations, celebrate the small things, savor unscheduled time, and practice patience, trust, and surrender, but it is not necessary to wait until something forces you into doing these things. So I challenge you today, whatever you current situation might be, to think of one small way to include one or more of these ideas into your daily routine. Maybe you will turn off the television while you eat dinner tonight. Or stop and look into the eyes of the person talking to you instead of continuing to check your phone or computer. Maybe you'll try letting go of expectations during your yoga practice. Or making a list of all the things you've accomplished so far this year - big and small. Maybe you will block out an hour in the upcoming week to do nothing. Or plan a vacation for this summer. Maybe you will use the "off" button on your cell phone. Or let it go to voice mail. Maybe you will shift your mindset to trust that everything is happening exactly as it is meant to be happening. Or you'll surrender into what is right now in this moment, without trying to change anything. Whatever you choose, I would love to hear about it! Please leave me a comment or send me an email at mscime710@roadrunner.com!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Bonjour Maternity Leave!

39 weeks along & getting ready to teach my last yoga class before maternity leave

Bonjour Maternity Leave!

Here is how I envision spending this week (or so) before le bebe arrives:

Sleeping in

Setting up the nursery

Getting a massage & pedicure

Physical Therapy session

Finishing up a bit of work, preferably from bed

Daily naps

Going to yoga class, even if I may just rest in Child's Pose for the hour

Heaps of fresh fruit (addicted to pineapple lately)

Writing in my journal

Working on my belly cast

We'll see if the baby is on board with the plan or if s/he has other ideas!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Belly Casting!

I'm SO excited to be getting my belly cast on Friday!
I've been searching for ideas and thought I'd share
some of the gorgeous images I've come across!

image credit

I think this one is my favorite! It combines two of my
favorite symbols - the Tree of Life and the lotus!
Absolutely gorgeous!

I was thinking I would just do my breasts and belly,
but now I'm loving the idea of including one or both
of my hands! Either way, I'll be sure to share some
pictures after the experience!
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