Staying active while pregnant is really important. For me personally, I like to keep as fit as possible purely to increase my confidence when it comes to actually being in labour but also for making the recovery process as smooth as can be expected.
However, being active is easier said than done when you have three months of nausea, followed by three months of stretching ligaments, followed by three months of weight gain. Being pregnant is a wonderful blessing, it truly is a gift and one that I’ve been lucky enough to experience for a second time (and lucky enough to feel really, really well throughout both) and I know when it’s over I’ll miss it. But I must admit, I miss being active. I miss running with my dog three times a week and walking him 107 times more, I miss Pilates on my living room floor twice a week, I miss ad hoc games of tennis or cricket in these warm summer months.
During my first pregnancy I was too afraid to keep up anything other than walking. I was afraid of losing the baby that we had waited so long for, afraid of doing something that might compromise all of that hormone and IVF treatment we underwent for almost two years. This time, I haven’t felt as anxious, so I kept up my running – lightly – until 17 weeks but then it got difficult; my body felt too exhausted to drag itself even a mile (I guess that’s what having an 18-month old will do for you, ‘second time around’).
In the last few weeks my energy levels have spiked so I’ve been doing a bit more again. I’ve learned that I feel most energetic earlier in the day so I’m better to do some light exercise in the morning or early afternoon. On my days off I make sure I go for a couple of good walks with the dog and pram, but when I’ve to be in the office I go out on my lunch break for a walk. However, walking alone makes me feel guilty – my gorgeous dog should be with me! So when ParkLives got in touch to tell me about their yoga classes at Slessor Gardens, I was over the moon to collaborate with them again (Slessor Gardens is a new ParkLives ‘venue’, conveniently located just five minutes from my office.)
I was both excited and apprehensive to go along to the Wednesday lunchtime yoga class – I mean, how much yoga can an almost-six-months-pregnant person take part in? As it turns out, all of it.
The class instructor was absolutely fine with me being pregnant and she simply adapted the class to suit my needs without compromising things for the people who wanted a regular yoga class. (It’s worth noting that the instructor also took into consideration people in the class with injuries.) For any positions that weren’t suitable, an alternative version was provided without making me feel like I was upsetting the class. I felt totally at ease with the instructor and the group, and was glad to discover that I didn’t even need a mat (long forgotten, thanks to baby brain – it’s real people, it’s a real thing).
I loved the 45 minutes of yoga, which seemed to fly by under the hot midday sun. As I gently stretched and leaned and Downward Dogged, the ever-growing buzz of Dundee city life hummed around me. It was a wonderful hour spent outdoors, totally free of charge and left me feeling invigorated and energised, allowing me to chill out at home later without feeling guilty. The ParkLives yoga class reminded me how important it is – for the mind as well as the body – to stay active, regardless of what else is going on in life.
Delivered by teams from Leisure & Culture Dundee and Dundee City Council in partnership with Coca-Cola Great Britain, ParkLives sessions help local parks come to life with activities that bring communities together and improve wellbeing. Find out more about a ParkLives class near you.
Images: Kris Miller (shot outside of the yoga group for privacy reasons).
Location: Slessor Gardens, Dundee.
This is a sponsored post with ParkLives.