Saturday, June 15, 2013

Yoga South, and Nutrition

Since today my North Birth Center's yoga is cancelled (and for the next weekend(s)) until the new yoga room is finished being remodeled (CAN'T WAIT!) and its getting too hot to continue outdoor yoga- I drove down to the South Birth Center location and took their Saturday morning class.

The South Austin Area Birthing Center is a lot bigger than the North location, but still has the same homey feel about it that makes me feel so happy we have these facilities and environments here in Austin to birth our babies. Unlike my North Classes, this yoga sesh was inside (oh AC, how good you feel with summer baby-belly yoga!), and upstairs in a carpeted area that felt more like someone's living room. The teacher down there is the extreme opposite energy and style of the North Saturday teacher, but by the end of class I was really enjoying myself, and felt restored, even though I felt we didn't spend enough time on poses, and we completely skipped shavasana (the end laying down meditation). This lady had so much energy I think she probably sleeps standing up haha :). We did do a kundalini meditation at the end, which was the first time I ended on such an active, quick-breath'ed note - in any yoga class i've done. We did a quick inhale "sut" (1/2 a second), then quick exhale "nam" (1/2 a second)  - while seated, arms held out to the sides from our shoulders, and bending at the elbows, motioning our fists with outstretched thumbs to point down back down to our shoulders, then outstretched again, back and forth with each inhale/exhale).

The instructor (I forget her name already- Kim?), was however very informative about the whole birthing process and experience, and her very high energy was contagious and by the end of class we were all laughing together. I felt like for every inhale/exhale I did, she did about 2-3. Haha, I just tried to listen to my body and do the movements at my own, slower, longer pace to really feel them, so I got what I needed out of the class. We also spent a lot of the class talking about our bodies, and she invited us to share our experiences with our pregnancies (amidst, and between poses), and even brought in a model of a woman's pelvis she passed around to show us the inner parts (that were removable on the model), muscles, bones and ligaments. It was pretty cool to look at, but definitely different from any yoga classes I've taken. I'm not used to so much talking, I'm used to more movement and silence/breathing through the practice, but I will say that it was still a lot of fun, and the poses she did have us do definitely loosened me up and energized me.

She showed us a bunch of pressure points on our feet to help soothe various discomforts we may have leading up to birth, and during birth, which were helpful. I mentioned that I have had toe cramps happen a couple times, when I've been pregnant, which I thought was a sign to drink more water (even though I drink SO much already). But with the Texas heat, its easier to get dehydrated, so I really need to drink even more. Another lady in class said you can also eat more bananas, and get more potassium to reduce cramps like that. I eat a banana every morning in my green smoothie, but I like them, so might as well start eating them later in the day as well. Now that its summer they turn brown super quick anyway, so might as well! On a rated note, I saw this article today, "The 6 Nutrients You Need While Pregnant, (And which to avoid)" regarding nutrition during pregnancy. Yay vegan nutrition for mamas! I think the take-away for me here in reading this, is that I should never say no to avocado! I love them, so I'm in luck. Here's a recap of the article, and how I'm taking these nutrients in daily (on top of my daily prenatal vitamin):
  1. Folate/Folic Acid: Kale (every morning in my smoothies), beans (especially black-eyed peas), nuts, avocados, romain lettuce, parsley
  2. Omega-3s: DHA daily supplement, Flax seeds (every morning in my smoothies)
  3. Calcium (With Magnesium): Kale (calcium - in my morning smoothies), with Hemp Seed Powder (magnesium - in morning smoothies). Also lots of various other greens, collard greens, cucumbers, broccoli, and romaine lettuce.
  4. Iron: Lentils, Chickpeas (and hummus), black beans, and she says to eat the beans with foods high in vitamin C to maximize absorption like hot peppers (we eat those with everything, really happy I don't have heart burn, though I've been cutting back some on the super super hot foods we're used to, and easing into them- so far so good!), as well as bell peppers, parsley and greens (which we always do).
  5. Vitamin D: My daily supplement, I also go on daily walks outside to get some of the beautiful Texas sunshine, which is always in abundance. 
  6. B-12: Nutritional yeast to the max! I eat this regularly pregnant or not, and its basically all B-12. I also eat Marmite with my toast and some of my sandwiches, 
  7. also Protein: Again, tons of beans, nuts, kale, and my hemp powder in my smoothies. I also love avocado, and should probably eat more of them, since they are so good for the pregnant body!
And here's what she says to avoid:

What to Avoid Eating While Pregnant
"Just as there are foods you should try to get more of in your diet while you’re pregnant, it’s super important to avoid certain foods due the potential toxins that are present, like mercury or dangerous bacteria, despite any potential benefits (like the omega-3s in fish). You’ll want to discuss the limitations with your healthcare provider, of course, but the Mayo Clinic lists:
  • Fish that is likely to be high in mercury, like swordfish, shark, tuna, king mackerel, and tilefish
  • Raw or undercooked meat, poultry, eggs, or seafood
  • Refrigerated smoked seafood, like lox
  • Unpasteurized meat or soft cheeses
  • Deli meat or hotdogs, unless cooked until steaming (there are so many other reasons NOT to eat these foods while pregnant or otherwise, which we won’t get into here!)"
So as a vegan, luckily all of the foods to avoid really don't have any impact on me or my baby, since I never eat any of them anyway - pregnant or not. And now I'm off to make a big avocado sandwich, for me and my sweaty husband putting in bamboo floors in the bambino's room. <3 Already gave both of the dog's baths today, and will probably head outside (vitamin D!) to weed whack, and then put in my ear plugs and read through some of the upstairs hammering. Weekends, I love you!!!

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