How being pregnant has changed my yoga teaching

Author: Jackieb / Date: 23-07-2014 / Tag: Pregnancy and yoga, pregnant yoga, Full Circle Yoga, Longmont CO, yoga studio longmont, Jackie Boeheim, lara barber /
Pregnancy and yoga, pregnant yoga, full circle yoga, longmont co, yoga studio longmont, jackie boeheim, lara barber

Becoming pregnant was the most exciting news of my life. My husband and I dreamed of starting a family in 2012, after moving into our first home. When it happened, we were thrilled. I was jumping for joy inside of my skin. Unfortunately, all of the ‘rules’ and ‘ideas’ around not sharing the excitement until you are beyond the first trimester kept my lips sealed. God forbid anything would happen to us – so we kept the news a secret.

Thankfully, I was not very nauseous and only dealt with being tired in the first few months. It was the hardest thing not to announce or share the news with my students. The first few months I felt so off that I hardly thought that I would be able to teach, let alone practice my own yoga. I was exhausted and slept for 12-hours per day. My energy was low and I asked myself how I would be able to pull off a level 2 vinyasa class at Full Circle.

As far as teaching, the heat was the first thing that affected my body. I noticed that getting up too fast encouraged a head rush, leaving me quite dizzy. My motherly instinct was telling me not to be in a hot climate. That’s when I had to let my boss, Erik, know the news. I asked if I could manipulate the heat for my personal comfort and he was incredibly supportive (as he always is) and told me to do what I needed – but to ensure that my students feel the internal fire and heat of a rocking F2 class. I was relieved feeling the excitement and joy from Erik and knowing that I could continue to teach at Full Circle.

The next thing I was aware of was that my mental clarity and sharpness lacked. Maybe my students also noticed this about my teaching? I would forget my sequence, or my peak posture, and not feel as ‘on my game’ as I typically do. I’ve been teaching for six 6 years and it felt like I was just beginning! Being in front of people felt scary and intimidating and there was this subtle sense that something was different inside of me … Can I already have baby brain even though I don’t have the baby in my arms yet? .  Looking back, I can see that because I was tired, sleeping more, not able to do my own yoga, and feeling foggy, I did not have the time for adequate preparation as I once did. Having my sequence and theme solid before class starts is a tool that keeps me grounded and feeling confident as a teacher.

Lastly, being able to keep up with my students has been an additional challenge. I am not supposed to do deep twists so demoing revolved crescent lung or prayer twist keeps me on my toes. When I teach, I feel that doing some of the more challenging pose (once in a while) with my students offers a visual representation and helps to carry the energy for them. It has forced me to stay more present in the room and with my own body to know when to (and when not to) do the postures with my students. When a woman is pregnant she becomes more hyper flexible and it has forced me to be more aware of the postures I practice. I also over-strained my right knee which kept me off my mat for a week which was disappointing – but a learning lesson to be had!

I am learning a great deal about my changing body and what it can and cannot handle with each and every class. I sometimes wonder how much longer I will be able to teach but plan to do so for as long as possible. My passion lies in sharing the tools of transformation through yoga and I plan to continue to teaching after the baby arrives.  I thank the Full Circle Yoga Community for sharing in the joy and love of my new baby to be, for the continual support from the amazing teachers (and for subbing for me when I have been off) and for putting up with my “baby brain” syndrome!

About Lara:
Lara is a passionate yoginni who believes in the power of ceremonial ritual as a tool to illuminate transformation. Each breath, each class, each bow, and each movement, represents a prayer of devotion and love. Through her own personal experience she has discovered that yoga enlivens a power of heightened awareness in all areas of our lives. "When we begin to embody ourselves authentically on all levels, we have the innate power to heal ourselves naturally." Yoga is an art form that Lara carves into each practice to restore your body, mind, and soul, to leave you feeling more connected and aligned. She loves teaching classes that blend her studies of massage therapy, yoga, meditation, shamanism, and Chinese Meridian Theory. She teaches vinyasa yoga, hot yoga, Principle Based Partner Yoga, yin yoga, and is currently studying yoga therapy and body based psychotherapy. 
Lara Barber
E-RYT Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher
CMT Certified Massage Therapist 
Illuminate. Transform. Restore. Balance. 
Lara's Touch