Bikram Yoga: Good for mind, body, & baby!
Borrowing from Jack Johnson, “Three, it’s a magic number. Yes it is!” It certainly is if you ask Alicia, Bethany, and Maria. These three have been the best of friends since their 20s and continue to do nearly everything together. Oh, sure, that’s easy to say, but it’s remarkable how true it actually is with these musketeers. For starters, they live in the same neighborhood, with two of them living directly across the street from one another. Of course, they attend Bikram Yoga together also. Three cheers for that fab fact! But, there’s more…
Without any planning, the trio discovered they were pregnant on three consecutive days. Wait. What?! It’s true. They discovered the pregnancies back to back to back and then determined their due dates were Aug. 8 (Maria), Aug. 9 (Alicia), and Aug. 10 (Bethany). None of the three were actively trying to get pregnant, either. It just worked out this way. Isn’t that something?
The ladies firmly believe yoga had something to do with this interesting turn of events.
“In yoga, you’re truly balanced,” Bethany said. “One of the poses aligns you, mind body, and soul, while the eagle pose actually massages the reproductive system.”
Alicia jokingly added, “It’s that hot room. It’s like the perfect little incubator for those eggs.”
Whatever it was, they were about to embark on a memorable journey together, which included attending Bikram Yoga 2-3 times a week throughout their pregnancies.
This was baby number three for Alicia, but her first as a Bikram Yoga student. “I noticed a significant difference this time,” she said. “My hips and back didn’t go out this time, and I didn’t need as manymassages and manipulations.”
At this point, Maria added, “If I was experiencing any aches and pains, they’d go away when I went to yoga.”
The benefits had them sticking to their Bikram Yoga routine. Before long, the trio became known around the studio as “the peggies.” As they discussed this aspect of their adventure, the energy in the conversation went way up. They each had such joy in their voices as they recalled their experiences, one talking over the next. “They were our cheerleaders,” one said. “It was really fun,” another added. “We love it. It’s such a good community,” the third said.
The ladies credit Louis, one of their Bikram Yoga instructors, as being their “pregnant mentor.” “He knew the pregnancy poses and how to adjust and switch things around,” Maria said. “He even put together a little book of pregnancy poses for us!”
They also sang Rebecca’s praises, touching on how nice it was to have an instructor who had, at one point, done yoga while pregnant herself.
They then gushed over how “super happy” Joanne and Sherrie are, which made it all that much more enjoyable.
“Everyone just made it awesome,” Alicia said. “It was really fun to go!”
Beyond the joy of experiencing pregnancy as Bikram Yoga students, Alicia, Bethany, and Maria all swear the process made their actual deliveries and recoveries much easier. Alicia and Bethany opted for natural deliveries and credit their yoga practice for giving them the strength and inner calm to deliver in this fashion.
“I’ve done natural deliveries with each of my three kids,” Alicia said. “Unlike the other two, this one was fast. It was a quick labor. Because of the yoga, I was more limber and just popped him out.”
This was Bethany’s first baby, so she had nothing to compare it to, but she fully believes her yoga practice helped keep her calm. She attended Bikram Yoga regularly for 39 of her 40 weeks. When the time came to deliver, she was in labor for 28 hours!
“Yoga offered great mental benefits in preparing for a natural birth. I’m an anxious person, and it helped keep my anxiety at bay. It helped center my mind and spirit as I prepared. It really is mind over matter,” Bethany said.
Maria, who was delivering her second baby, had an epidural, but it ended up not working in the eleventh hour, right when she needed it the most. She, too, found herself relying on technique learned in the hot room. “I just pushed three times, and she came right out,” she said of her sweet baby Clara. Her delivery was far from uneventful, however. Clara came face first, with the cord both tied in a tight knot and wrapped around her little neck. Maria feels strongly that her Bikram Yoga practice allowed her to remain calm throughout the situation and also helped her and her dear girl come through it all okay. Whatever the reasons are for this outcome, we are sure thankful everything turned out okay.
“The hardest part of it all was waiting to go back to yoga,” Bethany said, describing what it was like after her baby was here. “Because I took longer to recover, I would drown my sorrows in pancakes, waiting for the all-clear to return to the studio with my friends.”
“It’s amazing how you feel without it in your life,” Alicia added. “While we were recovering, we would text each other and say, ‘I just wish I could go to yoga.’”
“I had baby blues and yoga made things exponentially better,” Bethany remarked. “The heat is comforting after having a baby. Eventually, it doesn’t even feel hot anymore.”
Alicia continued, “When I’m PMSing or stuck in traffic or something, I think ‘I just need to go to yoga.’ It makes me a whole new person.” Maria responded with, “It’s like a magic pill you can take.” To which Bethany said, “I’m convinced I’d be on anxiety medication if it weren’t for my yoga.”
It was at this point Alicia laughed and jokingly said, “I just do it to get away from my children. Oh, and the showers. I love the showers! Showering by myself, without any distractions…” She trailed off for a bit at this point, almost as if dreaming about her shower sanctuary that very moment. She eventually and enthusiastically came back with, “And the pebble ice!” Everyone laughed!
Once they were all given the all-clear to get back to it, they agreed it was time to up the intensity with Hot Pilates at least once a week. “Once back, I lost my baby weight in a month,” Maria said of the addition of Hot Pilates classes.
As if the unique story of these three and their three beautiful babies weren’t enough to love, their endearing personalities make them impossible to resist. What vibrant, beautiful spirits they have! They’re a gift to our studio and our community!
Congratulations, Alicia and baby Jason, Bethany and baby Gwen, and Maria and baby Clara! May your lives be filled with the same happiness you bring to those around you!