If you’ve been following my journey so far you will most likely have noticed that I am pregnant…23 weeks pregnant to be precise. I have a rapidly growing bump and a little baby that is very much alive and kicking. I thought being a pregnant yoga teacher would be easy, but as I’ve discovered, it’s not been quite as smooth-sailing as I’d hoped.
As soon as I found out I was pregnant I made the decision to temporarily stop teaching hot yoga. If someone had asked me prior to being pregnant if I would have continued to teach hot yoga when pregnant I would have said ‘hell yeah’. However once I discovered that a real tangible human life was growing inside me everything felt different. Exposing myself to such a hot, humid and dehydrating environment no longer felt right. That’s not to say you can’t do it – there are yoga teachers all over the world who continue to practice and teach hot yoga throughout their pregnancies and produce happy healthy babies. For me, however, it just wasn’t a risk I was willing to take.
It was both the easiest and the hardest decision I could have made. Easy because I was protecting my new precious cargo…but so so hard because I was in a position where I had to wave goodbye to every single scheduled class I taught. All were heated classes of some variety – classic variations of hot yoga or heated vinyasa flows. In the six months I’d been teaching I taught at three incredible studios, and loved every single second. Saying a temporary goodbye was pretty devastating, particularly as a new teacher who is just starting out. In hindsight, however, it was the best decision I could have made. And this is why…
Morning sickness. It’s hell. No one can prepare you for it. I may not have been throwing up all day every day, but the nausea, oh wow, the nausea. And the tiredness. It’s a cross between the worst hangover you’ve ever experienced and severe travel sickness, and it lasted from the moment I woke up to the moment my head hit the pillow. Some days my head never left the pillow! Even the thought of teaching during the first eleven weeks of pregnancy was nauseating so I dread to think how I would have coped if I’d continued teaching 7+ classes a week in such high temperatures. A yoga teacher has to be happy, energetic, motivating, full of life. There was absolutely no way I could have taught a decent hot class whilst in full morning sickness mode.
During my first trimester I spent a lot of time dreaming about the baby and about finally teaching (and practicing) yoga again. My yoga practice had fallen to pieces and my motivation had waned. I was overjoyed to be pregnant but having no purpose to my days left me feeling lost. After a few weeks feeling sorry for myself I made the decision to stop moping and utilise this time to do some more training and expand my mind. Within a few weeks I had signed up for a pregnancy yoga teacher training and a yin yoga teacher training. Both were incredible and I will post about these two experiences very soon.
Training gave me purpose again. By the time I had finished my trainings I was venturing in to my second trimester and feeling great. The sickness and exhaustion had disappeared and I felt like me again. In fact, I barely felt pregnant – if it wasn’t for the fact we’d seen our little baby dancing on the ultrasound I don’t think I would have believed I was pregnant at all. After two months of feeling lost, I was finally able to get a proper yoga practice back (primarily a home practice) and felt ready to finally teach again…
Part 2 coming next week! Check back in next week for the second part to my pregnancy yoga teaching story (hint – I start teaching again)!