My wife signed up for a Pregnancy Yoga class a few weeks back. Gentleman if you're not aware this is quite a common class for pregnant women to sign up to. The idea is not only to create a better bond with your baby but also it's a time for your wife/partner to do some light stretching, core work and work on techniques to use during labour.
You will hear a lot of talk about a woman's pelvic floor during pregnancy. As to be quiet honest, it's going to be in for one hell of beating come the due date. If your pregnant wife/partner hasn't mentioned her pelvic floor yet, stop reading this and go ask... I'll wait.
Now I'm trying to immerse myself and be involved in every aspect of pregnancy as I can. So, I suggested to my wife that I would join her for some pregnancy yoga. She didn't have the energy during the week but she could re-watch the class again and so I said we could do it together.
My interest had been spiked by this yoga class for a while because during her first class, the smell of candles coming from the living room was overpowering and also all I could hear coming from the living room was chanting and "Aaaapppoo Deebo Baaah".
What's Involved in the Class
My wife told me the class is about 60 minutes. It's a bit longer than that, she just didn't want me to stop and switch on a match that was starting at 8:15. Sneaky move.
We got settled in on the mat for the class and Indie wanted to sit next to me of course. Did the obligatory crossing of the legs and praying hands. As that's about the knowledge of yoga I have along with there's some stretching, poses and downward facing dog.
I'll start by saying Jeanie from Alchemy School of Yoga has one of the most calming voices, after my wife of course, I've heard. The last time I heard it as calming a voice as that. It was from the bunny on the Cadbury's Caramel ad years ago. 'Relax a while postie...with a Cadbury's Caramel'.
Moving on, Jeanie gets you to do some breathing exercises to begin with place one hand on your heart and the other on your bump. Now, obviously I'm lacking said bump, but what I did was place my hand on my wife's bump and my hand on my own chest. I just felt it was a nice way to try and bond with the baby. Hence my reason for trying the class in the first place. Anything to help with bonding and to spend some time with my wife that doesn't involve an argument, which I always tend to lose, about what to watch on Netflix.
Next thing we were up on all fours. Now, if you've played any team sports these next moves will all be very similar. Apologies to Jeanie, but I'm sure they're called something else.
First up we had 'Supermans'. Left leg straight, right arm straight. And repeat. Start firing that core a little bit. It's all very controlled and slow for obvious reasons but doing this move brought me back to those pissy wet Sunday afternoons, slightly hungover from Saturday night, warming up for a rugby match that will involve me getting beaten up over the next 80 mins or so.
Next is what a coach would call "Opening the Body Up". Essentially your in on all fours and you get the left arm and torso and you point it towards the sky. Good stretch in the chest, core is working and as you look at the ceiling wonder how that one spec of dirt got there.
We then had a bit of 'Downward facing Dog' but with a few calf stretches thrown in. "Let's count out 10 lads, it's a soggy pitch, need them calf's good and loose".
Now throughout the class we were reciting this chant "Preah Vishnu Sharma". I won't lie, at first I was trying not to laugh. Even with our eyes closed my wife could sense the smirk on my face and giddiness in my body.
By the time the next part of the class came about I had got myself and my giddiness under wraps. But my god was it about to be tested.
Jeanie had us on our feet. We then start to walk around the room with our arms above our heads while twisting our hands in circles. We wouldn't be told how long it would last. The idea behind this is to prepare your wife/partner for contractions. To use meditation or your mind to block out the pain, as your wife/partner will have no idea how long a contraction might last. It's all about calmly getting through it as best you can and it will pass.
Jeanie does say whatever works for you to take your mind off it, works for you. So, as we're walking around with our hands over our heads and the dog is looking at us like 'The fuck are these two up to'. My wife starts singing Disney songs.
She's not holding back either and it always amazes me she can remember all the lyrics but not where she left her keys.
It's an odd place to find oneself. My arms were hanging, as I did a workout earlier in the day, but holding your arms above your head for a decent amount of time is more tiring than you think. I'm trying to concentrate on blocking out the pain. But I'm being interrupted with "You think I'm an ignorant savage. And you've been so many places" from Pochontas. Or "Under the Sea" from the Little Mermaid. I couldn't help but laugh to myself.
We finished the class with just simply relaxing and breathing with no sound. I'll say this lads, with all that's going on in the world, in your life etc. Taking a few minutes to breath and relax to zero noise is wonderful.
I can imagine if you're having a shit day or your head is just a bit meh! A couple of minutes of this will do you wonders.
I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the class. It's not strenuous and it's a great way to support your wife or partner in doing the class firstly, to help you both bond with bump and also to take time to unwind and relax as couple. Lastly, I slept unreal afterwards. That alone means I'll be doing the class again.
Try it out lads. Thanks Jeanie and "Namaste".