The photo I used for my latest blog puts a HUGE smile on my face, as it pretty much sums up my yoga practice during the first trimester of pregnancy. I am happy to say that I have left the first trimester behind and have settled into the next phase.
Every woman is different and will have her own unique experience of pregnancy. The early weeks were somewhat stressful and a bit dark, as I experienced heavy bleeding and we thought we had lost the baby.
During the week that I experienced this, I felt wiped and all I wanted to do was stay in bed and eat, sleep, repeat. My instincts told me that this was the right thing to do, to nourish my body and the baby. I sought a lot of guidance, clarity and support through shamanic journeying, a personal healing practice that I use on a regular basis.
My instincts began to tell me the baby was okay, but we didn't know for sure until a scan revealed a strong heart beat and a subchorionic hematoma, a pool of blood that was sitting directly above the tiny life in my womb. Fortunately, my body reabsorbed this and by 9 weeks we were congratulated by the midwife and given the all clear.
What have I learned about pregnancy? It is a time of letting go. I was truly at the mercy of nature and somewhere amongst all the uncertainty I managed to accept that what will be will be. Early Pregnancy was a time where I instinctively wanted to retreat inwards, rest and nest within the cosy confinement of my home.
The first trimester was also a time where I let go of ego and attachment to what my body can do. The fatigue in early pregnancy prevented me from getting on my mat and practicing the strong flows and inversions that I was used to. This has been quite a challenge during the second trimester now I have my energy back. More about that in my next blog!
My practice was about stopping, turning inwards, nurturing my body, resting on props and meditating. It was a time of great simplicity. Mindfulness was particularly useful in grounding myself and staying in the present moment, especially during my scare.
Yoga teacher Hayley Mclaughlin is starting pregnancy yoga classes at Studio 70 from Saturday 9th June. These will run in 4 week blocks. We advise that you start pregnancy yoga from the second trimester (14 weeks). If you are an experienced practitioner and feel ready to start before then, Hayley will look at this on a case to case basis.
If you are pregnant, a pre natal yoga class is ideal as modifications will be given to suit your bump and energy levels. It specifically focuses on bonding with your baby and preparing body and mind for birth. You'll also be in the company of other Mum's to be who can share tips and truly empathise with what you are experiencing.
Michelle Lang is co founder of Studio 70 and teaches Vinyasa Flow and Yin at the studio. She has practiced yoga for fifteen years and is in her 5th year of teaching yoga in the Southside of Glasgow. Michelle has a previous background of working in social care and is passionate about empowering others and making yoga accessible to everyone. In her spare time, Michelle likes chilling at home with her cats and partner Mick, who is also a yoga teacher!