Meet Lore, an active yogini who has stayed true to herself, her practice, and her love of inversions during her pregnancy. Through listening to her body and staying confident in her knowledge of her body's limits and her yoga practice, she's been able to continue doing the things she loves and living passionately every day.
What was the biggest myth told to you about pregnancy exercise, that you know (or now know) isn’t true?
That you can’t do headstands in yoga while pregnant because it will affect the baby and could injure him or her.
As a certified yoga teacher myself, I know that handstands are safe during pregnancy as long as they are done carefully and you learn how to listen to your body, and know your own limits. So whenever I feel like I don’t have balance or it’s just not a good day to try certain postures, I just respect my body and don’t do them. But when I feel confident and do my practice with postures I already know and am comfortable in, I feel more alive and I know my baby does too. My gynecologist also confirmed that yoga and headstands are totally safe and my body will know when to lower the pace in my practice – so that’s ultimately what I listen to.
What was your exercise routine before becoming pregnant?
Before becoming pregnant, I used to practice Vinyasa yoga about 4 days a week and also did some cardio, primarily running, 2 days a week on average.
What does your exercise routine look like now?
Luckily, my exercise routine has not changed a lot; I still practice yoga about 4 days a week, the only difference is that now I do Hatha yoga which is a style of yoga that's done at a slower pace than the Vinyasa I typically practice. Starting in February, I intend to allocate 3 days a week for my usual yoga practice, and the fourth day will be a prenatal yoga class I am joining. As for cardio, I still stick to 2 days a week, but I’ve also lowered the pace. So instead of my typical running pace, I'll jog at a slightly slower pace, but I'm still getting my cardio in.
What has been the biggest challenge in pursuing physical fitness and exercise during pregnancy?
The first months when I barely had a belly and didn’t feel those major physical changes in my body, I found it hard to actually change up my routine. I wanted to keep doing the things I was doing, even though people would tell me it’s not safe to do high-impact exercises. I also kept hearing that I couldn't (or shouldn’t) do headstands or handstands in yoga because it wasn't safe for the baby to be upside down. I think getting those comments on my exercise routine made me feel a bit unsure about it, even though I felt strongly that I knew my body best.
How did you overcome this challenge to Shape Your Pregnancy?
First I talked to my gynecologist, and she told me it was totally safe for me and the baby to continue with my yoga practice as I had done until then, including upside down postures. She said that the baby wouldn't get hurt in headstands or handstands because even when you are standing up, your baby could be upside down, or right side up, or sideways... So my baby is probably upside down much more often than I am!
She also told me that my body is intelligent and it would let me know when to lower the pace and when to stop doing certain yoga postures; and that is exactly what happened. There were days that doing a certain yoga posture didn't feel right anymore, so I just listened to that and made the modifications to my practice.
As a certified yoga teacher I have learned how to practice yoga safely and I’m well aware of the risks of doing certain postures while pregnant, so that helped me stay confident in my practice. I would reread my notes about yoga during pregnancy from my teacher's training and used that information to adapt my own practice.
As for the cardio, since the beginning of my pregnancy I have lowered the pace a lot; but to keep it enjoyable I’ve tried to go for walks or jogs outside or in new places I haven’t been, so I’m not just on the treadmill. Keeping things fun so I don't get bored has been really important.
What message would you want to share with other expecting and new moms?
Your body knows what it's doing, and its main purpose now is to protect your baby. So don't feel afraid to move, to exercise, to try new things (as long as they are pregnancy safe of course)! You will feel and know when something you do is just not OK and you can stop or change what it is your doing. Above all, listen to your body.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask your gynecologist anything so that when you are exercising you can be absolutely certain that you and your baby are safe; that way you will enjoy more your exercise knowing there is no risk of harm.
Do you use Baby2Body?
Yes, I receive my daily emails and I love them. I enjoy so much reading about my baby's development and the health, food and exercise tips they send my way. I love this campaign idea so much and am thrilled to be involved.
Continue doing things you love and live passionately... your baby is coming into your life to be your companion in all those adventures, not your limitation.