You may already know this but even before I became pregnant I was a huge fan of yoga for many reasons. It helps my inflammation , helps me connect with my body and disconnect from distraction. It also had a profound effect on my acceptance of my body when I first began practicing in my early 20's.
Once I became pregnant, I had to take a break from my favourite and more vigorous forms of fitness such as running and barre because my body just didn't feel good doing them. That's not to say that these forms of exercise aren't good if you're pregnant. I know many women who continue with their same exercise regime, I just personally had to scale back and listen to my body.
When I hired my doula from Toronto Yoga Mamas (who has been amazing by the way) I noticed they had a package with unlimited yoga so this was the option I choose and I'm so glad I did! I've been doing prenatal yoga four times per week. I absolutely love it. It's my next favourite thing to do other than hanging with Walker and cooking! I've made it a priority and put it in my calendar every single week.
Along with my regular yoga practice, Walker and I started taking a 5-week hypnobirthing course at Toronto Yoga Mamas. When I tell people about it they often think it must be some sort of weird hypnosis where Walker swings a pendulum in front of me to hypnotize me chanting some odd mantra, HA! While I wouldn't be against this, it is not what hypnobirthing is about.
What it IS about ... Hypnobirthing is about learning to breathe, positive visualization and meditation techniques. I'm not finished the class yet, but so far I'm learning so much and absolutely love it. Last week we talked about positive affirmations. This is something I have always been a fan of but I didn't really think about it for my labour.
During my first trimester I had these power cards that I kept in my pocket all the time that reminded me to "trust my body" and know that "my sweet bean is growing so perfectly and joyously".
I will definitely be creating some positive and powerful affirmations for the labour and birth of our baby girl to help bring me to a positive space and help me connect with my body. I feel as though Western society creates so much fear and negativity around labour and birth, like it's an illness that must be treated and medicated. This just doesn't jive with me. So I've decided to look at it with a more optimistic perspective and follow the direction of my yoga goddesses, doula and hypnobirthing teacher. I'm under no illusions that labour will be a walk in the park but I'm quite certain that if I wasn't taking steps to prepare my mind, body and spirit I'd be having a much different experience filled with anxiety and fear.
Now apparently we will be discussing massage techniques in an upcoming class and I'm certainly looking forward to Walker practicing on me!
For the duration of my pregnancy I've done things as naturally and drug-free as possible so I hope the same for my birthing journey of this sweet bambina. However, I am going into it with any open mind and I have no expectations. This is uncharted territory for me that I welcome with joyous open arms. I do feel more confident and prepared with a doula, midwife, weekly yoga and my hypnobirthing class.
If you have an experience with hypnobirthing, I would love to hear it in the comments below!
Have a joyous day!
Ps. As you may have noticed I'm reading the book in the photo above which I do recommend even if you don't live in Toronto and can't take the class. There are so many great tips and techniques in the book. However, I do strongly recommend you ignore the nutrition tips listed in this book as ice cream and frozen yogurt are NOT good sources of protein! haha!