my journey: working out & teaching barre3 while pregnant

I'm now in the final weeks of my pregnancy (38 weeks and counting!) and I've been meaning to write about my experience working out and teaching barre3 throughout this crazy, yet wonderful time.  First, I'd like to preface this post by saying that when I first found out I was pregnant, I had a million and one questions.  Will I be able to workout? Teach? How much weight will I gain?  What will clients think of me walking in all preggo? Could I still teach a good class with this belly?  I was so fearful of the unknown.  You catch my drift.... 

So as with everything, I took it day by day.  I was working and traveling a lot during my first trimester for my PR and consulting gig so I didn't teach that much.  I was also hit with bouts of nausea and that overall tired/ freaked out feeling of keeping the pregnancy under wraps until after 12 weeks. 

However as I entered my second trimester, that "back to me" energized feeling made its appearance and I was ready to take on the world.  I told myself that I will continue to workout as long I'm feeling up to it (along with doc's approval of course) and pick up more classes as my consulting gigs slowed down.   I have to say it was the best decision I've ever made.  If you're pregnant and reading this right now, know that what you're feeling is normal and don't be nervous about working out or popping in that pre-natal yoga DVD.  



Out of the studio, what has saved me are our barre3 online workouts (pre-natal and non) as well as this little gem called Rajashree's Pregnancy Yoga.  A little pricey at $30, but well worth it in my opinion. Rajashree is the wife of Bikram Choudhury, the world renowned hatha yoga master, who is famous for his Bikram Yoga practice.   I love taking Bikram yoga classes and was bummed that hot yoga classes weren't recommended by my Dr. during pregnancy (even though the jury is still out on this one.) However I personally chose not to take them to err on the safe side. Buyer beware: Rajashree's DVD is fairly dated- I literally laughed out loud at the purple unitards and 80's or 90's? hair everyone is rocking.  But the workout is fantastic-a modified yet challenging version of Bikram's class in which I craved. 

Now back to teaching.  As the new barre3 West Village location was under construction and I've already been teaching  in Morristown, NJ previously, I decided to pick up more classes there and also at the studio in Livingston.   Both studios and the clientele are amazing, warm and welcoming, and to be perfectly honest, teaching is simply euphoric for me.    I love to move, and to help and (hopefully) inspire people along the way all while listening to some kick a** tunes!   The best thing about barre3 is that it's low impact enough that a pregnant woman can participate but also challenging enough for the advanced practitioner.  We always say that barre3 doesn't necessarily get easier the more you take class.  Why?  Because the more in tune and present you are within your body, the deeper you can go.  That's the beauty of it.  I have friends that are both instructors and clients that still get the shakes and quakes every single time, including moi. My motto is that good 'ol saying "go past your comfort zone because that's where the magic happens."  

So with each class I taught or took, I was mindful of staying present and listening to my body and my baby.  I'd modify where needed or if I was feeling fierce, I'd take it to my edge.  Even if I wasn't feeling up for it prior to going to class (believe me there were times!)  the minute I was finished, I was so I glad and proud of myself that I did.  My doctors even say that teaching has most likely helped me during this pregnancy not only physically, but mentally. And I concur!  I have a feeling that's why I'm carrying so low and I'm truly hoping all of this working out will help me throughout my labor, delivery and after.   Even if you've never taken a barre, yoga or pilates class, it's ok.  Start small and take baby steps (pun intended!)   

After teaching two classes, 25 weeks.

I've been lucky enough to have a pretty smooth pregnancy and I really do think it's due to the fact that I kept on movin' on.  I taught four to sometimes five classes up until my 36th week, and to this day, I took a pre-natal yoga class this morning with the hope that this little bebe will make his or her debut soon!  

So that's it in a nutshell.  I know everyone's body and journey is different.   So feel free to ask questions or share your past or present experiences with me here. Perhaps my next post will feature some of my favorite postures for you and your baby.   In the meantime, the countdown to my baby continues. Namaste. 

xx

J