Monday, August 31, 2009

Why Couples Prenatal Yoga is Not Appropriate for People Who Can't Be Serious and Pregnant Women Who Can't Control Their Emotions...

Because I love yoga and because Todd loves me, coupled with the fact that it was my birthday weekend, I was able to talk Todd into attending a "couples only" prenatal yoga class. I thought this class would be a lot of fun considering I love yoga, have been doing it intermittently at home and would perhaps be a good venue to introduce Todd to yoga.
Upon arrival you could tell we were obviously not in the same mind frame that the other couples were. We could not stop laughing and joking around...
All of us were pregnant (obviously..) and had brought our "support partners" (because who has spouses these days, right?!).
To get started the instructor asked us to introduce ourselves, tell how far along we are, what we expected to get out of the class, if we're prepared for childbirth, and for the "partners" what kind of "body connection" they were expecting from the couples class.
For example: "My name is John, I'm here to support Tracy. We're having an at home water birth and I want to be able to support her throughout her labor. I think this class will help us connect in a way that will help me understand her needs as we bring this wonderful life into the world. I am here for her and anything she needs."
Right. Sucker. The second she gets in that tub and you get too close to her she's going to grab your neck and shake your emaciated little hippy body until you can't breathe anymore....
Me: "My name is Rikki...I'm about 37 weeks...I've done yoga in the past and really like it. I'm SO ready for childbirth mostly just because I'm SO DONE with being pregnant. I'm uncomfortable, have something jabbing my ribs and can't breathe and am so ready. Perhaps not emotionally ready, but oh so physically ready for it. I brought my wonderful husband Todd to his first yoga class today."
Todd: "Hi. My name is Todd and I look like I'm about 39 weeks. Umm. My wife and I already had a 'body connection' about 9 months ago - which is how we ended up here in the first place. And I want to be able to touch my toes again with my fingers."
And I was laughing hysterically. No one else really 'got it'. We were busting up though. And that set the mood for the rest of the class. They were all serious and we were class clowning it. It was a blast. If you've never seen your husband attempt a "down dog" I seriously recommend it. Hysterical.
By the end of the class I'm pretty sure the rest of them had had enough of our joking and obvious inability to focus on the "connection" we were failing to make. Plus, we were probably just one of those couples who race to the hospital (*gasp* - not the natural birthing center or the big tub in the front room) ask for pain meds (how could you dope up not only yourself but the baby too? Why would you miss out on one moment of this beautiful experience?) and then get an epidural (are you unfit for motherhood?). You've hit the nail on the head hippy yoga-masters. Read us like an open book.
We'll just be making our way to the door.....but, wait, not before we spend the last three minutes of class practicing non-verbal communication so our partners can learn to recognize what we need emotionally without having to say it by "gazing into each other's eyes without speaking." Sounds simple enough. But really, have you stared at someone non stop for that long? Plus, when I looked at Todd he had his eyes crossed. I could not hold it together and finally I burst out laughing. Out loud in a huge yoga room with 12 other people who were able to maintain their calm.
Not only did I burst out laughing, but when I couldn't stop, in some weird pregnancy - induced hormonal fit I started crying! It was awesome. Todd kept asking my why I was crying, but since there really wasn't any reason for me to be crying, and since I now felt like a retard, I just kept crying.
Luckily during the "corpse pose" relaxing 5 minute finale to the class I was able to calm myself long enough to make a half-assed exit from the class. Wow. That was fun. Maybe next time I'll get a DVD and we'll do it at home.

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