Saturday, March 15

Yoga awakens your purpose

As I posted the other day, I'm reading "A New Earth: Awakening to your life's Purpose" by Eckhart Tolle. I'm about halfway through the book - every time I open it, I am more impressed and in awe of what I'm learning. Thank you so much Oprah for opening the world's eyes to this powerful novel.

On page 159 in chapter five, I found this statement:

"Spiritual practices that involve the physical body, such as t'ai chi, qigong, and yoga are also increasingly being embraced in the Western world. These practices do not create a separation between body and spirit and are helpful in weakening the pain-body. They will play an important role in the global awakening."

Not that I need validation in writing for myself because I've experienced the power of yoga firsthand: it helped me out of depression, out of chronic pain and back into living. However, it feels so wonderful to see this statement in such a widely read book - over 700,000 people world wide participated in Oprah's first online class on March 3 to discuss the book with Oprah and its author. If you haven't heard about this huge opportunity, go to to learn more.

When people ask me why I practice, I say this:

"Practicing yoga is my daily prescription for living my best life."

If you have a full medicine cabinet or just need a new direction in your life, I highly suggest trying yoga. It may not resonate the first time you do it or even the tenth, and you don't have to invest a whole hour or 90 minutes. Just try five or 10 minutes. It's more about quantity versus quality; the more frequently you do it, the more you will feel and see its affects on you mentally, spiritually and physically. Trust me, I wasn't a believer myself when I first tried it out, but when I truly needed it, it was and is my salvation.

If you've never tried yoga before and are looking for a place to begin, try Hillary's Podcast #54 - Shift Your Attitude - All Level Yoga Practice - 15 Min Chair Yoga Check In. She has photos and a podcast (it's located at the end of the above page, but here's the direct link as well) to guide you through a practice you can do completely in your chair - how cool is that!

Friday, March 14

Can you feel the power?

If you enjoy practicing power-vinyasa style yoga, Baron Baptiste is an instructor I highly recommend (Probably not so great for preggers though, especially if you weren't practicing this style before pregnancy.). I'm a big fan of his CDs, DVDs and books (check out lists on the left side of my blog).

Within the archives of Hay House radio online, I saw Baptiste was one of the featured guests on Power Thoughts, episode "Make things happen." It does require a a subscription, but it's free. Baron Baptiste is the first interview of the show and speaks of the benefits of yoga.

Below is a video I found on YouTube about Baptiste as well.

Thursday, March 13

What did that scale say?

Stepping on the scale today at my last monthly midwife's appointment (Next time is in two weeks!) brought up fear coupled with curiosity. I knew I must have gained a decent amount since the last appointment. Lately, I've definitely been eating for two, or three, or maybe even four some days ... and I gained about seven or eight pounds since the last weigh in. OMG! I don't want to be all hung up on a number, but at the same time I don't want it to be terribly difficult to get back to my fighting weight after baby.

Before the scale revealed my fate, I really thought I would land within the 25 -30 pounds recommended gain. Now it looks as though I'm not giving myself too much room to play with, only having 10 weeks (or less) left. I believe I've read pregnant women gain about a pound every week within the third trimester. If that's the case, I will probably pack on about 30-35 pounds total, depending on what starting weight I select. (Seems like I gained a few pounds before I actually made it into the doctor's office at eight weeks, but if I start at the doctor's beginning point, I'm better off - hee hee!).

I brought this up to a few women at my corporate job today, and they thought I was crazy... guess I won't worry about it then. But maybe I'll take my sister-in-law's midwife's advice when she was pregnant, and I believe about the same amount along...

"More salads, less burgers."
(My down fall has been cheese dip - I could never resist!)

Guidelines for weight gain during pregnancy should be revised

Wednesday, March 12

Squeeze it mama

Whenever I'm looking for anything related to pregnancy, I'm always reminded in big, neon print: DO YOUR KEGELS! So why do I always forget to do them? I think because they seem so odd and elusive... how do I know I'm really doing them right?

Squeezing the same place you would to stop and start the flow of #1 in the powder room is how you find your PC muscles (pubococcygeus muscles). I've also wondered where the name Kegel originated - seems odd to me. Apparently the practice was coined after Dr. Arnold Kegel who created the exercise in the 1940s to help with urinary incontinence after childbirth. How does a man know how to do these, by the way, when I feel like I'm not even doing them right, and I have the correct anatomy?

The cool thing about Kegels is that you can do them anywhere and at anytime because no one knows you're doing them! I still feel a little odd when I finally remember to do a few, but like anything, I guess it gets easier with practice. The Web article linked in the first sentence suggests doing it for four seconds and relaxing another count of four. Alternate back and forth for three to four sets of 25 repetitions several times throughout the day. There are other types of Kegels in the article, but I think I'll stick to this one for now.

Tuesday, March 11

Stay out of the darkroom

"Fear is that little darkroom where negatives are developed."
~ Michael Pritchard

This quote arrived today in my inbox (subscribe here). It's one I hadn't heard before so I thought I'd share it with you since it's so powerful. Don't let yourself enter the darkroom! Remember F.E.A.R. stands for:


Prenatal yoga move:
Another item I'd like to be more focused on posting is recommending various yoga moves or modifications for pregnant chicas. Standing cat and dog is one of my FAVORITES and is great to do standing up in the shower with the water beating on your sacrum/low back. Check out the video and let me know what you think.

Monday, March 10

Birth plan - realistic or nonsense?

Since beginning my third trimester, I've been trying to prepare more and more for the baby. Having a written birth plan upon arrival at the hospital seems to be all the rage these days, but it just doesn't seem realistic to me...

Here's my birth plan so far:
  • Soothing music - check.
  • Baby out within five minutes of first contraction - check.
  • Nothing rips or tears - check
  • No odd or embarrassing bodily fluids leave my body - check.
Deep down, I just don't believe labor is an experience one can really plan out. Type A mothers-to-be must have invented the "necessity" of a birth plan (not that I haven't be labeled type A, but I have parameters). It seems to be out of my hands how this miraculous process will flow, and I'd hate to set myself up for failure or disappointment.

Where does one even begin a birth plan? Yes, I want it to go well and smoothly ... okay, birth plan is complete. Guess the hospital staff and my midwife are probably looking for something more detailed, huh?

My next appointment with my midwife is this week, and I found a blog post with five questions to ask the doctor before going into labor. Seems like a good way to help me formulate a birth "outline" versus a detailed plan.

Five questions to ask before giving birth:
1. What is your c-section and episiotomy rate? How far past my “due date” can I go?
2. If all is well with mom and baby, do you allow intermittent monitoring (freedom to move around as you please)?
3. May I labor in any position I find comfortable and effective?
4. May I push my baby out in any position I find comfortable and effective?
5. What is your philosophy on birth? If I choose not to take pain medication, are you fully supportive of natural birth? Or do you prefer your patients to have a medicated birth? If I have had a previous cesarean, do you support VBACs?

The following poll about birth plans was posted on If you wrote a birth plan, did it make your labor and delivery a more positive experience?
  • 46% Yes, it helped me get what I wanted.
  • 54% No, it went out the window once the contractions started.
Aha! The ladies are split 50/50 on the importance of a birth plan - thanks for confusing me even more!

Perhaps I should have a few bullet points written down so I'm not completely dumbfounded during the process. also had a handy dandy birth plan checklist where I can select what I would like to include in the special day. This seems like a good way to get started, and I can also bounce it off my midwife - thank goodness for sites like babycenter!

Sunday, March 9

Preparing for baby - one purchase closer

Our baby has a place to sleep! Yippeee - one item to check off of my baby-to-do list. After window shopping at a few local furniture stores and Babies R' Us, I finally decided to purchase the crib on today since it had furniture over $125 for 15% off this week.

For the money, Target had the best selection in conversion cribs, although I wasn't anticipating the immense shipping and handling. (Unfortunately most of the cribs at the retail chain are only available online.) After debating whether it was worth the price with the tacked on shipping, it still seemed fairly reasonable considering it converts into a daybed and full bed headboard and footboard. Plus the finish will match the dresser and nightstand we already have in the baby's room.

Here's what our baby will be sleeping in until it goes away to college!

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