Those brave souls who came out in the pouring rain to Prenatal Yoga Wednesday night know how much I love balancing poses during pregnancy. (You did great in those half moons!) Lifting off from the ground can be a little intimidating at first, but here’s how you can balance safely in pregnancy and why you might want to add balances into your routine if you’ve been avoiding them.
There was a reason you were wary to stand on one foot at eight months pregnant; you can barely keep your balance waddling with both feet on the ground! But all you need to safely balance in pregnancy is---wait for it--- a wall. For easier balances such as tree or eagle, stand so an outreached hand could grab the wall. For bigger balances such as triangle and half moon, scoot closer to the wall so your entire back is (or could easily) touch it.
As always in yoga, listen to your body and pay attention to your limits. Your center of gravity is completely different, so go slowly. Your pose may or may not end up looking a lot like it used to, and that’s ok. The point is to explore and revel in your new shape and strength. You may have had some preconceived (ha!) notions about what you would or wouldn’t be able to do with a big belly. Try not to be limited about what you thought, and instead be led by what you feel in your own skin that day.
Taking your foot off the ground into a balance is a leap of faith. So is your entire pregnancy and birth. Preparing for labor involves becoming aware of our fears, acknowledging them, and finally working through and overcoming them, resting in a place of calm confidence. You can have a mini practice of this essential process every time to go up and fly into a balance. Every time you prove to yourself that you can do something you were afraid of, it strengthens your spirit and your confidence not only for labor, but for the challenges of motherhood as well.
Have I convinced you yet? Go ahead and try a balance today and post a pic on our Facebook page. Let’s inspire each other to take flight!
Rebecca is a yoga teacher, doula and busy mama to a three year old boy in the East Side neighborhood. Her favorite pose during pregnancy was half moon.