Soon after I discovered about my pregnancy, many people including myself (at the begging) see me as a woman made of tofu (meaning: need to be handled with ultra care), people said to me, “You should not do this, don’t do that, avoid this food and avoid that.”
I received a lot of advice from others, they were all sincere advice, but I caught myself getting quite stressed by trying to listen to all of them. The more advice I heard, the more I noticed how contradicting they were. I came to the conclusion that maybe it’s better to listen to my own inner voice instead. Growing up, I used to please others and rarely did I listen to my inner voice, and now is probably the time to practice that.
Many (esp. Chinese) told me not to exercise so much (some even told me not to raise my arms higher than my head!), but I was quite sure I can easily become depressed if I don’t allow myself to move and exercise (I’ve been living an active lifestyle since elementary school!!!) So I asked myself, “should I listen to others and live a life that others want of me, and become depressed, or shall I live my life according to how I like it and be happy?” I decided to go for the second option, since I had tried pleasing others for 30 years and it’s about time to live for myself.
To be honest, as long as your exercise routine is similar to the training you had had prior to the pregnancy (this is not a time to start something new), and lower the intensity a bit, this does not create much stress to the body, because your body is used to such routine. Of course, unless you are having some special body condition or you are carrying twins or multiple babies etc. Listen to your body, if you don’t feel well or you feel fatigue,
rest. If you don’t feel like eating, just listen to your body, eat only when you can. The more you can go with the flow of the body, the more fun and beauty you can discover about this special time of your life!
Though I tried to keep my exercise routine during the first trimester, I felt tired and sleepy during most of that period. It felt like I only had enough energy to sleep but nothing more! There was a period I napped 3 times a day and went to bed at 10 (slept through the night) and was only able to keep up 1/3 of the exercise routine. What I learned was: as long as you followed the intelligence of the body and let go of all the ideas of what you “should do”, you don’t need to suffer just because internal and external conditions are changing.
Here I would like to share with you my practice this morning. My joints felt very loose since the first month into the pregnancy (due to the production of a pregnancy hormone called relaxin), so I have not been doing much yoga. Even when I had the energy to practice, I chose poses mainly strengthening poses such as standing postures. Today, my body felt very strong and inspired and so handstand felt great! What I realized is, pregnant ladies are not tofu, just listen to your body and don’t push it, then all will be well!
To be honest, whether you are pregnant or not, learn to listen to your body, as it will save you from so much unnecessary trouble!!