Everything Zen

I have never been an athlete. I did play field hockey for years and years (all of middle school and high school), but I wasn't very good. Other than mandatory gym classes required, I didn't do much during college. That stayed with me through most of my adult life. My husband and I had a gym membership for a while and it would be great when we would go, but it was hard. I'm not a morning person, so we would typically go after work and be exhausted.

That's my pregnant belly at 32 weeks!

When I found out I was pregnant, I knew I had to get my act together and start getting into shape. As a first time mom, I had heard the horrors of marathon labors and wanted to be prepared. I also needed a way to unwind after work. Since being pregnant is not a good time to start a new fitness program, I knew whatever I did would have to be very low impact. That's when a friend told me about prenatal yoga.

Once I was through my first trimester, I started taking prenatal yoga classes with a fantastic yogini - The Urban Poser. Every Monday night, I would drive to our local birth center and chiropractor's office for prenatal yoga. For the next hour and a half, I would relax. Stretching felt great, and the poses were modified to accommodate growing bellies. I was also taught different types of breathing and focusing techniques. Most helpful to me were the Birthing Breath, which helped me through contractions and deliver E quickly and safely. I can't recommend prenatal yoga enough to any moms-to-be. Just make sure that your instructor knows what she's doing as it is very easy for pregnant ladies to over stretch/overextend thanks to the hormone relaxin.

If you don't have a qualified instructor near you, check out these free podcasts from Mamaste Yoga.

Do you have a favorite form of exercise? When did you start?