Last week, at 20 weeks pregnant, I attended my first ever Yoga session, and certainly my first pregnancy one. Part professional curiosity, and part interest in easing my bump-induced aches and pains, I adopted my supported kneeling pose (need to learn what it’s called!), alongside the other mums-to-be, and began. Here are 5 great things I learned in the next 1hr15mins.

  1. Quietly focusing on your breathing is a great way to ‘get rid’ of the stresses of the day, and focus on the here and now. Something I NEVER do.  Teacher Louise used this focus to prep us for the session, and to introduce our first visualisation and calming techniques to ultimately help us when it comes to birth. It felt practical, relaxing, and far from my ‘Yogi’ preconceptions!
  2. Yoga is a great compliment to my (and probably your) usual workout routine. Slow, calm, deliberate, and gentle, it’s the opposite of how I normally exercise, e.g. hot, sweaty and with weights. Taking time to slowly and deliberately challenge muscle groups felt odd, but good.
  3. Taking time to stretch is gooooood. Leading on from point 2, it provided a delicious and effective stretch for what I discovered were incredibly tight muscles. The ooohing and ahhing round the room suggested I wasn’t alone.
  4. It’s ok to take it at your own pace. With bumps of varying sizes and a cross section of fitness levels, my classmates seemed accepting that everybody was working to a different level. I’m used to a bit of healthy competition, but the lack of pressure felt great, and soon I wasn’t paying any attention to what anyone else was doing.
  5. It’s OK to relax and spend time being mindful! Normally a lie down is not something I would associate with exercise, but 15 minutes of focused breathing and introduction to mindfulness was a) bliss and b) something that clearly with our hectic lives, we should all try to do. Slightly hypnotic and super relaxing, it was another way to ‘unburden myself’ of the day and focus the mind.  I floated home!

I’m a convert!