Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Advanced Restorative - AKA Intermediate for Preggos

When I initially found out I was pregnant (yep, you read that right), my plan was to write a week by week practice update that I would publish once I hit the 12 week milestone and went "public."

Well, things didn't really happen that way.  First, I had some early complications (some spotting) which resolved themselves quickly, but which had me a little down and out of my practice for three weeks.  Second, my home computer kicked the bucket.  I could always use the husband's, but his is an Apple and I'm Apple-challenged.

So here's the condensed version, which you'll probably enjoy more than what I had planned anyway :)

Yes, I'm 15 weeks pregnant with a little girl (thanks to science and my status as "AMA", I got to do a new-fangled blood test which also tells the gender with 99.9% accuracy). 

My initial intention was to practice as usual, until I couldn't.  In retrospect, I'm not sure what that would even mean. But I'm learning quickly, that my intentions mean very little in this matter.  It's all up to sweet V (baby girl's nickname) to determine where my practice is on any given day.

Here are the major changes thus far:

  • As soon as I found out, I dropped mayurasana and also eliminated jump-backs.
  • Karandavasana dropped out at about the 6 week mark, pretty much when the spotting happened (it was minor, but it freaked me out)
  • Weeks 6-9 I took a hiatus from practice.  I wish I could say that I worked on my seated practice.  Instead I worked on my sleeping practice.
  • When I returned, I practiced primary for a couple of weeks.  Marichasana D has been eliminated; I twist open in C rather than toward the leg; wider legs in all forward folds and in samastithi; not crossing the body in trikonasana or parsvokonasana B; I also eliminated the finishing inversions.  I may experiment with adding them back in now that I'm over the "hump."  We'll see.
  • When I went back to Intermediate, I made major changes.  I'll have to take a picture for full effect, but I call it "Advanced Restorative."  Pasasana is done with wide legs; krunchasana I don't pull the leg all the way in, all of the belly backbends I do with two bolsters set so that my belly hangs in space; I twist open in the twists; a bolster is used for support in eka pada sirsasana B
  • In addition to all of this, weeks 12-15, I'm not doing any twisting at all. Angelique advised me to drop it during this period because the placenta is developing.  I'll add gentle twists back in next Wednesday.  
 There's a lot of great resources for pregnant ashtangis.  I'll try to compile some and share in my next post. 

Here's the beginnings of the bump at about 14 weeks 5 days. 


  1. Shut up! Congratulations Rochelle!! I'm so excited and happy for you, you're going to be a great mom :-)

  2. Hi I read your posts a year too late but they are helpful nevertheless. I am currently 5 months pregnant and steadily going through my practice - although my teacher has prevented me from doing kurmasana, supta, garbha and kukkutasana. I am slightly sad - and I wonder whether you did them during the practice.

    Would you mind sharing me your pregnancy ashtanga resources? The ones I found online are the ones you can easily get by googling!

  3. HI! Congratulations! I stopped doing that set pretty early in my pregnancy. It just didn't feel right to me. It saddened me, too, since those are some of my favorite postures. But my belly just felt way too constricted. As for kukkutasana, a lot of udiyana is required there, which isn't good for the growing baby.

    I tried to honor the poses that I removed by doing something in their place. Instead of those poses, I did some long hold pigeon poses.

    The resources that I used are probably the same that you found online. I was also extremely fortunate that my teacher had just had a baby a year before I got pregnant and then was pregnant again when I was in my second trimester. She was able to give me a lot of helpful hints based on how her own practice was shifting. But we definitely found that some things that were helpful for me, weren't for her, and vice versa.

    I do think that teachers who have never experienced a pregnancy err on the side of caution (rightfully so), and are especially afraid of the increased flexibility that comes from hormonal changes. Personally, I'm very back bendy and have super open hips. I dialed everything back and practiced at about 85% during my pregnancy.

    I hope this is helpful! Enjoy this amazing time!


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