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It’s been MONTHS! An update on teaching yoga and pregnancy

December 7, 2011

OH YEAH I said it — pregnancy.  I’m pregnant!

With twins!!

IDENTICAL twins!!!!!

But first, teaching yoga.  Since September I’ve been volunteering for 3 hrs a week (all in the same night) at Healthworks Community Fitness.  I teach 5-8 year olds, 8-12 year olds, and teens.  It’s been fun, but a total challenge.  First, where the yoga class is is usually a room for running around.  So kids aren’t used to doing something more structured and calm (at times) there.  So I’ve had to adapt and we pretty much just play yoga games.  We did yoga freeze tag a TON, obstacle courses, marco-polo and blind man’s bluff, freeze dance, musical mats, etc.  I’m not sure that they could name poses other than the sun salutation and warrior.  Second, the kids run around like crazy.  All the time.  Even when we’re doing something structured there’s a kid or two who will run around, or play with a ball, etc.  It’s been a challenge of my classroom management skills.  Which…I’ve learned that I don’t really have.  Definitely something I will be working on as I proceed with teaching.

 

The teen class was generally good, if not well attended.  The girls liked learning the sun salutation, and were always worn out by the end.  I heard “that wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be!” quite a lot!  I liked challenging them and showing them that yoga can be a workout, too, while at the same time a great compliment to pretty much any workout.

 

I was disappointed that I couldn’t make teaching at Academy of the Pacific Rim work out, but because of my doctor schedule, I just wouldn’t get enough actual work in during the day.  I really missed those kids and hope to return in the fall!

 

So…onto pregnancy!  I’ve had, I must say, an incredibly easy pregnancy thus far.  Little morning sickness — only icky feelings until exactly 10 weeks.  My only food aversion is tempeh.  Until very recently, I was generally comfortable all around.  It’s amazing to me that I’m growing two people and still feel pretty good!!  I am able to do most yoga poses, if slowly.  Abs have pretty much been out but I can still do plank and variations of (side plank is getting to be a challenge of balance).  Sun salutation has felt gooooood.  I just have to move more slowly because of blood flow.

 

Fun fact — a woman’s blood volume increases between 40 and 50 percent in pregnancy!  One of my doctors (I see two regularly) said multiples pregnancies can experience even more than that.  Either way — my head rushes very easily.

 

Our twins are identical.  We know this because they share a placenta.  Here’s a brief diagram of types of twins:

Because of this (and because of twins in general), I’ve had an interesting diet!  The Tone It Up plan, I fully believe, has fully prepared me for this.  I’ve had no real cravings because my body is getting everything it needs!  I focus on protein first.  It’s been proven to help with twin-to-twin transfusion issues (where 1 twin gets too much blood) and is generally good to have in pregnancy.  I also, of course, eat veggies and fruits regularly.  I’ve increased my dairy intake and whole-grain carb intake, too, to help with calories.  And, per doctors’ orders, I take a prenatal, DHA, iron, extra folic acid, and Vitamin D every day.  So far, so good!  Again, I think the reason I haven’t had many cravings is because my body is getting fully fueled!!

Here is a quick series of belly pictures, at 12, 15, and 20 weeks (current):

I’m due in April, and can’t wait to meet these baby boys!!

Motto of the Weekend

July 31, 2011

I couldn’t come up w a motto of the day yesterday because we were having too much fun hanging out outside and napping.  Today is a beach day and I’m so excited!! Yoga on the beach?? You bet.  Jake though is still sleeping.  So I think the motto of the weekend is: It’s Okay to Wake Him if it’s Gorgeous Out and You Have Plans.

Motto of the Day: Be Tough, Like Yoga!!

July 29, 2011

image

I was told recently that I was looking “buff,” which I contribute 40% to yoga, 50% to diet, and 10% to other fitness. And thanks!!  I do love my yoga shoulders.  But I’m not always buff in other ways.  So, since I admire how yoga strengthens my body, I am telling myself today Be Tough, Like Yoga!

Motto of the Day

July 28, 2011

image

I decided a while ago (like, 6 hours ago) that I needed to have a Motto of the Day.  I was awoken with bad news and was generally grumpy, and didn’t want to be.  So I said to myself “smile, dammit,” and it helped!  And thus, Motto of the Day was born.

Today: Smile, Dammit.

Wow it’s been, like, two weeks. Yoga? Right….yoga

July 27, 2011

So I’ve been crazy busy lately — I’m sorry for being so MIA!!!

(side note: I googled “MIA” and this came up.  Should I know who this chick is?

via http://thievesbytuesday.wordpress.com/2009/03/14/tbt-best-remix-tracks-of-2008/)

But it’s been time well-spent, with family, focusing on my full-time job (oh yeah, I have one of those), and with my husband.  Did you know, when you get married, you have to talk to that person???  Who flippin knew.  Sometimes I forget that…

Oops.

Anyway.  I’m teaching at a kids’ yoga camp on Friday.  Woot!!  I am very excited and am currently planning (no…well, I’m taking a break from planning to write this post).  I think that’s why this is much more stream-of-consciousness than I’m used to.  The teacher wanted to do poses against the wall, so I’m thinking of a “Through the Forest” theme.

The kids are ages 4 to 6, so I’m actually also nervous.  I’ve never taught yoga to kids that young.  But I’ve babysat and have lots of experience with kids in that age-range, so it should be fine.  Right?  Right.  I love kids these ages, I always have a lot of fun with them.

So that’s where I am.  Where are you guys?  What’s been going on with you — either from Tone It Up, yoga (Wanderlust is in CA, are you going? YogaDork is traveling the country, are you watching??), or just general life.

Things Being Klutzy Have Taught Me About Yoga and Life

July 11, 2011

I tend to fall a lot. And bump into things. My day is not complete until I find a new, unknown bruise in the shower. Sometimes, though, the elements are aligned and I land in just the perfect way. Just this week, actually, my husband tickled me, I went down, and somehow ended upright on the couch with my feet on the floor. Goodness knows my luck sometimes. All this klutziness and sometimes-luck has, amazingly, helped and strengthened my yoga practice – and my life. Here are just some of the ways how.

1. You can’t fight it if you’re going down. When I am about to fall, the worst thing I can do is freak out, wriggle around, and try to stop it. I just end up landing harder and well, that hurts. If I let myself go, through, and focus on the landing instead of the fall, I usually end up okay. I may not be unbruised but I’m unbroken. In yoga, I work on my balance, and focus on the same when I start to fall out of a pose. If I don’t focus on the fall, I can gently place my leg back down in standing position, avoiding injury and embarrassment. When I have a consequence I need to accept, it’s best to just take the fall and try to be graceful coming out of it. The more at ease you are with the bad that comes in life, the better out of it you’ll come – I promise.

2. Always stay flexible. Another way to say this is “go with the flow.” I’ve gone to job interviews with unzipped flies, started classes with sprained ankles, and changed in numerous public places due to spills, tears, and general mismatching. The more flexible I am in these types of situations, the more successful I am. In yoga, I use this to help me modify poses. I can’t always do a full expression of a pose and I can’t force it – so I stay flexible and do what works for me. Eventually, I will get to a place where I can do King Pigeon. But that time is not now and that’s okay. Flexibility is, I think, one of life’s greatest attributes.

3. Be fearless. I could easily let my klutziness keep me inside all day but – screw that! I walk the city streets, I run outside (people, pick up your garbage cans!), I skip (in public even) – I do almost anything. I try almost everything in yoga, too. In class, teachers often modify “up.” While it helps that I know how to modify poses “down” for myself if necessary, I always, always try the hard poses. I don’t always get there or sometimes I can’t hold it, but I’m not going to let falling on my head stop me from trying (oh yeah, I’ve fallen on my head). The more I try the farther I go in my practice, and the farther I go in life. I’m not the riskiest person but I try not to let my fear overtake me. I try to take chances in life.

4. Be mindful. A lot of my klutz-related injuries come from distractions. My mind has a tendency to ramble and sometimes my body just can’t keep up! The more mindful I am in the moment, though, the less likely I am to injure myself (at least seriously). I’ve found that the more mindful I am in my yoga practice, the more I can accomplish safely. Recently I’ve been trying to be very deliberate in my movements. This takes patience, sometimes – deliberate often means slower – but it always gives me better results. I think this is something that can be applied pretty broadly to life, too. It’s too easy to get wrapped up in the ramblings of our thoughts. The more mindful we are of our actions and consequences, the better people we can be.

(from Paso Dance Studio)

5. Laughter cures all. I’ve been klutzy on more than one occasion in front of people for whom I’d rather be graceful. Instead of closing up or getting mad at myself, I laugh. And honestly? Running into walls IS funny, we can thank Charlie Chapin for that. It eases the tension that I created and makes the moment a passing one instead of one that ruins the situation. I laugh a lot in yoga, too. I fall in and out of poses, I do the wrong poses sometimes, and I’ve even kicked people or been kicked. The easiest thing to do is just laugh it off and try again. The more I laugh, the more I see just how powerful that action and sound can be. Laughing epitomizes staying positive. We all know how important that can be. So the next time I run into a wall or fall out of tree or face a difficult situation? I’m going to laugh first, again, and I hope to hear some people laugh with me before moving on.

6. Just breathe through it. You know when you stub a toe and you inhale sharply? I try to exhale deeply right after that, and amazingly, a lot of the pain goes with my breath. Breathing is integral to yoga and you can breathe through anything. I don’t mean pain in that you’re forcing your body to do something it shouldn’t; I mean that uncomfortable feeling you get when you’re doing your 100th sun salutation, or by the fifth minute of holding Warrior 3 – breathe through that. And you’d be amazed what you can get through! I apply this philosophy more and more in my life as I face challenges. Recently I had a very frustrating meeting at work and I was, honestly, amazed that I kept my cool. But I did it through my breath! Every time I felt that feeling in my chest I took a breath in, and I took a breath out. It truly is as simple as that. And hey, if you can breathe through that awful, though short-lived feeling of a stubbed toe, you can breathe through anything, right?

(from http://carmenisais.com)

On Wobbling

July 8, 2011

When I did Skype yoga with Franzi, she mentioned something about wobbling.  It was something I’m very familiar with and  I’ve been processing this thought for a very long time — I apologize for the delay — but I wanted to get it right.  I think it’s close.

In yoga poses, I often wobble, especially when first trying.  We all know the feeling — your body can’t just get a grip in whatever position, yoga or otherwise, you may be in.  It can be embarrassing for either the completely-too or completely-not self aware person, especially in class.  But, as your teacher or instructor has probably told you, wobbling is a good thing.

(that’s a Weeble)

More likely than not, it means you’re doing the pose right.  Balancing poses aren’t designed to be easy the first time you do them.  Falling is half the fun!  But physiologically, when you wobble, it means you’re using muscles you haven’t used much before.  So the wobble brings strength.  It’s partially why personal trainers love those bosu disks and physioballs.

As you progress in a pose — as your body stablizes and you can hold the pose more still for longer — you grow strong.  And there’s something peaceful in that thought, isn’t there?  Stillness as strength.  Strength as calm.  I don’t know about you guys but in this do-everything multi-task-your-ass-off world, my mind goes.  Day to day I thought my strength was in my frenzy…well…frenzy is the wrong word.  Activity.  I was defining myself by what I did, not how.  The stillness.  The strength.  It’s all along the process, too — yoga is in the wobbling.

Part of what I love abut yoga and meditation is that it stills the wobble in my head, too.  I am getting more discplined the stiller I get.

(from http://sallysjourney.typepad.com/sallys_journey/2011/05/stillness-eludes-me.html)

So, particularly you beginners — don’t let the wobble intimidate you, discourage you, frighten you.  Embrace the wobble.  It will lead to more strength than you’ll know.

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