My first pre-natal yoga class has taught me a few important lessons:
(1) Don’t show up without Lululemon yoga pants or capris. Anyone who is anyone will be wearing a pair of these butt accentuating yoga bottoms. I had no idea there was such a thing as stylish yoga clothing and arrived wearing 8 year old GAP running pants that were covered in dog hair. Also, don’t wear an old, comfortable gray t-shirt to class. Everyone wears really cute, fitted tank tops. You may think you’re going to exercise, but you also have to try to look like someone who does yoga – even if you’re clueless and the thought of wearing anything fitted at 15 weeks pregnant is not exactly appealing.
(2) When the instructor tells everyone to close their eyes and put your hands by your heart, she means for you to take both hands and put them in a praying like pose. Something like this:
Since I am a runner and don’t have any experience in the yoga world, I literally put my hands on my chest, like I was feeling my own boobs. Of course, I peeked my eyes open a bit and saw all the other ladies doing the praying pose and realized what the instruction meant.
(3) Baby Einstein music will be played. We were told to do some quiet breathing and relaxation exercises during which the same music played as from the musical mobile that hung over my nephew’s crib many years ago. I found it more amusing than relaxing and wondered if the instructor was going to sing to us too. After 10 minutes of Einstein, I have to admit that I was a calmer person
(4) If the class is supposed to hold 10 people and an 11th person walks in 5 minutes after the class starts and puts her yoga mat directly facing yours so that your mats are actually touching, you should immediately demand more space or tell her to go elsewhere. If you don’t, she will bump into you with every stretch and move and even dare to come onto your mat at times for the entire hour and then ask to borrow your blocks, your pillow and blanket (yes, they give you these things in pre-natal yoga) because she was too late to get her own off the shelf in the back of the room. It will drive you absolutely insane and probably diminish any possible benefit that the class should have given to you.
(5) When the instructor starts saying things like, “My light sees the light in all of you,” just go with it. She’ll also throw out a few “Namaste” phrases. No idea what they mean, but it’s a spiritual, yoga world thing and it’s all well intentioned.
(6) Same with the Ohmmmm chanting thing. As soon as the Ohmmm chanting started, I almost got up and left because it was strange, frankly, and I didn’t want to feel like I was in a monastery. But as soon as it’s over everyone seems to feel better and more in tune with themselves, so I guess it can’t be bad. Except for the late woman who was chanting quite loudly and so close to me that I could actually smell her breath (have I mentioned how strong a sense of smell I have these days?). So that part wasn’t pleasant at all.
(7) Before you try yoga for the first time with a bunch of fashionable, moms-to-be on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, make sure that your old GAP, dog hair covered exercise pants don’t have a gigantic hole in the crotch. Because when you’re sitting in a circle and doing stretches and the instructor tells you to reach for your toes while your legs are spread far apart, you will be completely exposed and wondering what color underwear you’re wearing and whether anyone else can see it and is judging you. You might actually be the class outcast and not know it. Either sew up the crotch area when you get home or just go out and buy a pair of Lululemon yoga pants.
(8) When the instructor tells you to find a comfortable position to decompress yourself, you don’t necessarily need to copy the very flexible, yoga over-achiever next to you who is sitting with her tush elevated on a blanket against the wall and her legs pointed straight up and resting against the wall. You may think this position looks easy comfortable and it may be for about 10 seconds before you start losing circulation in your legs. You may try to keep your legs straight up against the wall just to prove that you’re capable of staying in that position if you wanted to, but the instructor will come by and remark that you don’t look “organized,” as she put it and she’ll re-adjust you in front of everyone. It’s a mess – so just do something that’s comfortable to begin with.
(9) During the 60 second simulation of an “uncomfortable position” that’s supposed to mimmic a labor contraction, think of what you’d like to eat for dinner that night, sing the alphabet in your head twice and then make a mental list of all of the things you have to do before the baby comes. If you live in an overpriced 1 Bedroom apartment where the maintenance keeps getting higher and an unexpected, upcoming building assessment will cost more than keeping a car in your neighborhood, it may be time to move.
So that’s it. 9 lessons in one evening. I’m not sure if there was any actual exercise value but it was nice to escape my own head cold for an hour and be surrounded by other hormonal women.
The Husband and I have started gutting out our apartment to make space for the baby. We took 11 bags full of clothing, shoes, belts, etc. to goodwill. We started rearranging furniture to see how we can configure our apartment to make the most space possible. We went to some furniture stores and sat on tons of couches, trying to find something smaller than our mammoth sized couch. The entire experience made me exhausted and in need of a Starbucks Pumpkin Spiced Latte (decaf) which was amazing.
Hoping you’re all having a restful weekend full of inner light and lots of other positive stuff. Namaste.