Pregnancy: Why Yoga was my savior

  • By Emma Lapidus
  • 05 Mar, 2017

Learning and Love 

Finding out I was pregnant was everything I had dreamed of - I knew once I found my soulmate that this was something I always wanted to share. I also knew that I was ready - I had fun in my twenties, traveled the world worked abroad, experienced cultures and people from all amazing walks of life. It made me into the person I am today. The adventure now starts again with my soulmate and our little miracle which we have created with pure love.

I know there are exciting and scary times ahead, even during the journey I became aware my body was no longer my own and everything I put into my mouth, on my skin, and into my mind was also getting shared by my growing baby.

After reading what some women go through during pregnancy - constipation, swelling, nausea, etc. I knew that my yoga practice and the mind body connection this brings was going to be a fantastic tool to help me overcome anything I was experiencing.  

I want to share with you my tips, experience and feelings. Remember while reading about my journey that this may not be right or resonate with you, so I share with love and light.

Pregnancy belly photo
Two become Three. (Photo by Nienke B Photography)

Why Yoga is the best thing you can do when pregnant

I have taught a regular pregnancy yoga class now for a few years in Jersey. Before becoming pregnant myself I knew the most important three things I wanted my students to feel after a class were:

- connection with themselves and baby,

- learning breathing techniques and

- finding space in the body for the growing baby.

Once I fell pregnant my understanding and compassion opened as I got to feel and experience what it was like to practice with the changing body and fluctuating hormones. 

Yes, I am a yoga teacher and I teach many classes a week but actually taking some time on the mat for myself was one of the early lessons I learnt during pregnancy. It benefited me so much  to take time to practice what I preach and explore the new connection  I was creating.

Some days I felt like I was too sick or too tired to do anything, so actually taking that time to just breath deeply and connect with my growing baby was a yoga practice in itself. We don't have to be bending and stretching to practice yoga, we just have to learn to be with ourselves, even if that's just 5 minutes out of your day. My yoga practice kept me in my heart and not in my head when those niggles would arise, and gave me more energy to face each day.


First Trimester

We decided not to tell people we were pregnant, but I did not take into consideration how some of the side effects of pregnancy may make this difficult. So I, as with many other mums to be, had to cover up or make excuses for the sick feeling that would engulf me day after day. All I wanted to eat was plain food - and I just about stomached my regular daily breakfast smoothie. I resorted to hiding my greens in the smoothie to ensure  I was still getting the nutrients my body needed. This was a real struggle for me as I thrive on eating well to feel good, but at this moment I had no choice. I had to embrace what I could eat.

Food Tips during first Trimester:

- slice fresh ginger and drink that with warm water to aid with the sickness feeling

- add frozen berries and spinach to a banana and nut smoothie - the coldness hides the taste and gives some extra vitamins and nutrients.

My practice and exercise during this time wasn't as regular either. I listened to what I needed in all aspects, which included allowing this baby to grow while I rested.  Below are some movements to to avoid in the 1st Trimester, whether in your yoga practice, exercise routine or day-to-day life:

- Strong twists

- Inversions

- Heating pranayama (breath work)

- Jumping - including from one yoga pose to the next


Second Trimester

The start of the second trimester saw me get my buzz back; I felt normal again with a lovely growing bump. I kept up my surfing until 5 months - for some this may not be advisable but I made sure I went in when the waves were manageable and limited the time laying on my belly. I loved the feeling of knowing my little girl was riding mother nature with me feeling completely weightless and free. I can't wait to get her on a board !

I kept up my regular spin classes, teaching my yoga classes and training with weights in the Crossfit gym. I modified movements and intensity where I needed, I listened to my body, but being able to keep up what I was used to kept me feeling good and my body strong.  I did start to experience pelvic and pubic pain. I didn't want this to stop me from doing the exercises so I worked on keeping that area strong and supported. I practiced my pelvic floor and also yoga poses to support these. I definitely avoided too many wide leg and deep hip opening movements.

When I say "listen to your body" that where the connection you build during your yoga practice really comes into play. We become aware of that niggling feeling that we can either choose to ignore  or  take a breath and consider what is important here and now. That internal voice is your intuitive wisdom and during pregnancy this is heightened.

Practice your exercise with love and compassion for that growing baby and body. Its not a time to "go big" or start new things just because you may be afraid of putting on weight. Eat mindfully and take moderate exercise.  

Generally you may get your buzz back, so modifying movements is key. Things to watch out for in the second trimester:

- No laying on your belly

- No laying on your back - support yourself with bolsters, props and cushions so not fully flat

- Avoid strong ab work

- No extreme back bends

-  No arm balances


Third Trimester

You may be starting to really feel pregnant at this stage. Your belly is growing, heartburn or maybe indigestion starting, you might be finding it hard to get comfortable or have extreme night sweats - I know all of these applied to me!

Your yoga practice in this period is all about opening and preparing for the birth of your little miracle. Working with some gentle hip openers (modify if suffering from pelvic pain), and using extra support with props and walls during this time is very important. Really allow this time to feed your cells with oxygen from your breath by connecting in with it on a daily basis. Even just counting the inhale and exhale a few times can bring mindful breathing.

This time of my pregnancy meant my practice may have only been laying on my mat - propping myself up with cushions or on my bouncing ball and just breathing, whilst doing gentle hip circles to release the lower back and keep the spine fluid. Side bends at this stage are the best as they allowed the body to open up and creating space for the breath, as our usual stomach areas have been taken away.

In this stage you avoid laying on your back and work with your side laying supported by cushions and props. Your inner teacher will really guide your way during this last stage. listen to your body!


My go-to products and Supplements

There are some things that yoga can't cure. for example I couldn't live without my Vitamin E oil - I have used this for years at night on my skin. This was fab for my belly and I have been lucky not to have a stretch mark.

Before I fell pregnant in preparation I started taking folic acid 400 - and took this for the first 3 months. I then started on my pregnancy supplements from the organic pharmacy   http://www.theorganicpharmacy.com/health-beauty/pre-_-post-natal-nutrients/136

Along side these I took Udos http://www.udoschoice.co.uk/products/udos-choice-ultimate-oil-blend  which I had been taking pre-pregnancy and helped with my joints and recovery for sport. My skin also glowed taking these throughout my pregnancy I never suffered from any breakouts or dull looking skin. I took the capsules but you can add the oil to your morning smoothie.

Jasons vitamin E, folic acid and Udos from http://www.100health.je/  shop in Jersey.

During the last month In preparation for baby I have been taking Moringa - which will greatly help while brest feeding baby stimulating the production https://www.revolution-foods.com/products/premium-organic-moringa-120-capsules

Epsom salt baths and DoTerra Lavender essentail oil http://mydoterra.com/emmalapidus  helped me in my final trimester sleeping and while inhaling the essential oils relaxing.


Love

One last thing I want to share with you is about fear and projection. You may have been on the receiving end of this from others - or felt fearful for your own reason. Yes pregnancy is a a scary but exciting time, it is an unknown. The body changes and you have no control ...but it is a wonderful and amazing thing to experience.

But what is fear - Fear is what society or stories you may have heard about birth, causing an unpleasant emotional response in the body and mind. What if we were to remove the 'fear' all together from your vocabulary and thoughts and replaced with 'Love'. Love is all we are made of and we know straight away when we hear this word we can think of something beautiful and amazing - the love you have for your partner , family, animal whatever it is. We feel this daily as some point. Love can even be for that yummy food when we eat that bit of chocolate and make that all to familiar sound ...mmmmmmm! This releases those love chemicals that flood into your body and emotions.

So take that love and give it to you and your baby daily during your pregnancy and your labour. The phase 'Labour of love' must have come from somewhere right?! Send the love to your amazing body that has created this little being and trust that this  what the body was meant to do.

Every time a projection or story of fear is passed onto you, instead of engaging with it, allow it to wash over you with acceptance that that is another persons journey not yours. Surround yourself with a bright white light and make your experience/ journey of birth the most magical one it can be and staying open minded throughout. Find your inner breath and wise voice that you have. What would you tell your best friend and how would you treat her/him? Love..! So treat yourself the same.


I look forward to sharing some time on the mat with you whether pregnant or not and even with baby. Mother and baby yoga classes.

My Daily mantra and what I say at the end of every yoga class.

'With great respect and love I honour my heart my inner teacher'

Namaste

x

YogiEm - Kula Yoga

By Emma Lapidus 05 Mar, 2017

Finding out I was pregnant was everything I had dreamed of - I knew once I found my soulmate that this was something I always wanted to share. I also knew that I was ready - I had fun in my twenties, traveled the world worked abroad, experienced cultures and people from all amazing walks of life. It made me into the person I am today. The adventure now starts again with my soulmate and our little miracle which we have created with pure love.

I know there are exciting and scary times ahead, even during the journey I became aware my body was no longer my own and everything I put into my mouth, on my skin, and into my mind was also getting shared by my growing baby.

After reading what some women go through during pregnancy - constipation, swelling, nausea, etc. I knew that my yoga practice and the mind body connection this brings was going to be a fantastic tool to help me overcome anything I was experiencing.  

I want to share with you my tips, experience and feelings. Remember while reading about my journey that this may not be right or resonate with you, so I share with love and light.

By Emma Lapidus 15 Jun, 2016
Is your heart open to love ?

I asked myself this question before I started my recent yoga training and I ask myself this question daily.

I thought my heart was pretty open, but really we can all surrender a little deeper. My training has opened some more doors for me, and being brutally honest - my biggest doubt is self love....

Learning to love yourself is a challenge many of us face every day, so maybe as you read this you can recognise traits that you have. If you are able to fully accept and love yourself, please share your wonderful tips with me.

We are all so quick to judge another but really when we do we are only judging ourselves.

I walked into this room full of lots of yoga teachers all there to fill their hearts up in some way. Everyone in that room had a story and not letting the ego creep in helped me realise this.
 
We had a very open sharing moment within the group and the people who you may have thought would have been the one who was that 'wonderful yogi' with it all sorted, was actually a gentle souls whose heart held pain and needed the healing.

It boiled down to "self acceptance " self love and healing what no longer serves the heart.

I am grateful for the earth angels I met and who touched my heart with there light and warmth. By sharing a bit of myself, and receiving back so much in return, I have been able to accept these yogis as friends in such a short space of time.

So, what keeps me loving with an open heart to myself and others? Keeping my practice regular.  

I don't mean just the physical but the rituals that fill us on a daily basis. For each of us this means tuning into what makes your heart sing - really consider what gives you that sense of peace ?

There is light and love everywhere. See it in everything. Take a moment to stop and see the beauty to appreciate this moment in life.

I write this as I sit on the train after my final day. Whilst walking back to station to travel home and watching the hustle and bustle of London I walk with a smile on my face so I could touch the hearts of others. I watched how the hard stares gently turned to a soft smiles in some cases. This small act of kindness to myself went a long way.

I also watched a beautiful exchange of love with a old man and a dog. A young lady was walking along with her dog, when an old man just stopped in front of her, got down on his knees and embraced this dog with love. The women didn't know what to do and stood there smiling. He then  got up and walked away.

There is love in everyone's hearts. We just have to know how to let ours shine.

And that's what I want to share in your practice with you. Going to the deeper layers of yourself and facing what it is. Holding that space for you to feel empowered in your body and heart. We all can relate to that feeling.

The journey for me is a daily one.

With Love x

By Emma Lapidus 17 Apr, 2016
My path to Yoga has been an interesting one. I have done a few jobs along the way while always teaching and practicing yoga - I then took the leap of faith to pursue my passion for teaching! 

I recently met this inspiring young lady  Elizabeth - who came along to one of my Yoga classes. Elizabeth was very focused and driven to helping young graduates find the right path giving them choices after coming out of education. I really wish Elizabeth was around when I came out of Uni:) 

Know anyone who may benefit from her encouraging ideas and contacts? You can check out her website   The Cool Graduate and read the interview she did with me and see what other awesome Grads are doing .......... 
By Emma Lapidus 21 Mar, 2016

" why me"
"When will this go away "
" I should be more ....this/that ... "

Ring bells with anyone ? Those are thoughts that go through our minds when we aren't our own best friend. I recently twisted my knee surfing - 4 weeks ago now and it stopped me doing anything for the first 2 weeks as we had a ski trip coming up - so I wanted it to be better. This in itself was a real personal battle. Not being able to do the exercise and yoga to my fullest potential was a real struggle.

My knee was still sore when we arrived to the mountains. My saving grace was rubbing dōTERRA's "deep blue"  essential oil and rub onto my knee daily - this powerful raw medicinal essential oil can be applied direct to your skin- it has cooling and soothing benefits with natural ingredients*.

I hadn't been skiing much but was super excited; the mountains have something quite special about them - so dosed up on pain killers and anti inflammatory I set off. The crisp air, sun and cold on your face at the same time, fresh powder and lush long wide pistes, Mother Nature at its finest. Not a thought went through my head as I traversed down the mountain completely in the moment. Mediation at its best !!!!

Until.... fear crept in - steep, icy, bumpy run ahead. Thoughts of "I can't do this " " I want to go back " " help"
With a little encouragement from my friends I took a deep breath and made it down - focusing on every turn and move I made - concentration took on a whole new meaning !

I had pushed myself out of my comfort zone. I achieved something I never thought I could do. The buzz was amazing.

Later on, I saw something even more inspirational: a blind person getting lead down the mountain by instructions only. They had complete faith and trust in another human. As they were lead down the mountain they didn't have fear ... Only love and trust.

Lesson learnt

I knew my ski adventure would be a personal challenge and bring out things about myself. Life is full of lessons inspirations, teachers, signs - whatever it may be.

I tried to push through the pain each day until I realised that the most powerful tool and thing I could do for myself was to be "gentle". No self criticism and self loathing. I had given myself permission to stop, go slow. As soon as I let go of this battle, I felt an over whelming sense of peace and calm.

I came back to a vital love deep within my heart again and asked myself - How would you treat your best friend / lover / family member??? ....

With a gentle loving heart of course.

By taking this gentle approach with myself I felt my love and empowerment come back.

Take that little piece of gentleness with you today. The next time you are down on yourself ask yourself this: what would you tell your best friend/ family member if they were being hard on themselves?

I found the light and wisdom in myself again, i hope this inspires you too.

Namaste x

*I'm a wellness advocate for dōTERRA, you can get yours for you or a loved ones tired muscles at my shop here:
http://mydoterra.com/emmalapidus
By Emma Lapidus 25 Feb, 2016
The last year has seen many wonderful things happen for me.

I met the man of my dreams, we bought a house and my business is starting to flow. I feel grateful for what 2015/2016 is bringing me everyday.
  
So I want my first blog to tell you a little bit more about the wonderful things I hope to bring to you through yoga. My yoga journey has taken me to many countries and allowed me to meet some amazing inspirational people and not forgetting the animals !

Giving back

2016 for me is about giving back. After training at the Special Yoga Foundation in London at the end of last year a light shone a little brighter inside my heart and put a deeper meaning on what yoga was and is for me. The Special yoga foundation works and help the special child, allowing them to let their light in their hearts shine brighter too.

I saw and experienced incredible things while training and am now fortunate enough to work with these children. Yoga is the union of mind and body and is for EVERYONE. 2016 sees me sharing and guiding children and adults to find their own light.
  
The biggest lesson from working with these children is that you you can only "meet the child's heart with love".
I now see some beautiful children on a weekly basis with varying needs and am so blessed to share my love with them .

Not forgetting the lovely students that show up on their mats each week with me to practice yoga:)

Gratitude

My heart wouldn't be so open if it wasn't for my amazing Mum and Dad. Not only have they 100 percent supported my life choices, not always the right ones I may add, they didn't judge or criticize. They only ever held that space for me to find my own way.

Both of my parents have supported the Variety Club of Jersey for over 30 years - a charity to help the underprivileged and children with special needs in Jersey. I have been fortunate enough to travel the world with them as a child to meet the children all over the world that the Variety club helps.

I also want to express the love I have for my partner Pete. If you believe in the law of attraction then I can tell you from the bottom of my heart I asked the universe for a man like him in my life. They answered my prayers. I wouldn't have this self belief and confidence if it weren't for him. Everyday he loves me unconditionally, and fully supports me and my journey. Couldn't do it without him!

I finally want to thank my dear dear friends who never stopped believing in me, even when I stopped believing in myself. You know who you are, you never let my light go out - thank you for that!

Finally .....

2016 - I want to share all that I have learnt with you about yoga, health and wellbeing to support your journey whether you are new to yoga or want to understand more.

Feel free to drop me a line about ANYTHING ...

Things to come in the next month or so ...

The next event I will be holding is a "heart opening workshop".......
Date tbc - I'll be sending out emails so sign up for the newsletter.

New pregnancy yoga class out west ... updates very very soon or email me.

New mother and baby yoga class out west .....updates very very soon or email me.

All that is left to say, is Namaste and see you on the mat!

Em
x
Share by: