Now it’s all making sense. So much that I had read about pregnancy and relaxin is finally happening in my body. Relaxin is the hormone that softens a woman’s ligaments so that the pelvis is more malleable and can accommodate magnificence of the human head at birth.
A lot of the postures that we teach students to modify in the pregnancy series I haven’t had to modify (except to accommodate my belly) at all until now. It seems like in a week, my whole pelvis has changed. I went from comfortable doing Toe Stand on Friday to “what am I thinking?” on Sunday. I can see why they say to avoid excess pressure to the perineum and symphysis pubis. It feels like my symphysis is going to crack open if I put too much pressure on it. Now I know why they encourage you to do Kegels from the beginning.
I can really feel the effects of the softening in my ligaments. In straddle splits, there is a point where my muscles are no longer stretching and I can feel I am just pulling on my ligaments. It actually feels like my ilium are spreading away from my sacrum when I fold too far forward in it. When I pushed it too far, I felt like I’d been riding a horse too long for the rest of the day. I’ve noticed, too, when I do Forearmstand, that I have INCREDIBLE stretching across my abdomen that just doesn’t feel right. I just don’t feel in control. I am sure some of that has to do with the lengthening of my rectus abdominus…it just doesn’t contract like it used to…
It really is inappropriate for any pregnant woman to do Toe Stand and deep straddle splits during pregnancy. It may feel okay in the beginning, but contributes to instability in the ligaments that stabilize your entire body and can lead to long-term problems with the sacroiliac joints. I have always been very strong and was very pig-headed about dialing back my practice. Although it feels never-ending at times, pregnancy is a tiny period of your life. You’ll get back to all of your favorite poses before you know it.
Other than that, I am really just in the grow-the-baby stage. She’s gaining weight and getting bigger, kicking up a storm. She loves hot chocolate. Some times it looks like an alien is rolling over under my skin. I wish I could see what she’s doing in there.