I am not usually one for routine exercise but I have too say, over the last six months of being pregnant I have definitely been feeling the yoga! Proud to say I have been keeping up to it too, practising at least 5 times a week and feeling the benefits!
I decided to take up yoga at the beginning of my second trimester as I was becoming increasingly anxious about my pregnancy and needed to find a healthy way to relax both my mind and body. Unfortunately for me, the combination of suffering from a social anxiety and being unemployed (i.e skint) meant that sining up to a group yoga class at the gym was off the table. So I decided to take a look at online yoga tutorials that I could practice with ease, for free, in the comfort of my own home.
The two tutorials I have found and have been practicing are produced by a company called Yogea Art Flow (I will provide links for these at the bottom of this post) and are particularly focused on your needs for the first and second trimesters, which is great!
Although I originally took up yoga to ease my anxieties, I’ve found that it’s really helped soothe certain aches and pains I’ve suffered with during my pregnancy, especially during my second trimester were I had a lot of lower back pain. But more so, I feel that my mind is a lot more calmer now and It gives me chance to rest my thoughts and think about nothing whilst I do my routine. It’s nice! My partner has even noticed a change in me, and says he can defiantly tell the difference in my mood if I skip a day (which I try not to do too often).
Overall I would defiantly recommend the Yogea Art Flow vids to anyone who wants to do a bit of light exercise during their pregnancy. They are great for beginners and have a lovely spiritual feel to them ( if you’re into that, which I am). They also include a nice ten minute or so ‘winding down’ section at the end of the routine, which is perfect if you enjoy meditation and helps you to create beautiful imagery in your mind.
For me, yoga has not only benefited my health but has really helped to make me feel positive about my pregnancy… It’s exactly what I needed!
Yogea ArtFlow Tutorial links
Prenatal yoga routine: Gift of life (Third Trimester)
Prenatal yoga routine: Calm Interior (Second trimester)
I’ve never really had to pay to much attention to the condition of my skin, apart from the odd break out of spots I get from time to time and the oiliness I suffered from as a teen, but in adult life I’ve been pretty lucky. I am now just over six months pregnant and as expected there have been some changes to my body. The quality of my skin is still pretty good (I’m very pleased to have the ‘pregnant lady glow’) however due to the rapid growth of my bum and thighs I’ve begone to develop stretch marks. Funnily enough my tummy is fine though…not a mark in sight and I’m hoping it stays that way! I must admit, I did feel quite conscious about the stretch marks when I first noticed them, even though they’re a perfectly natural thing and something that a large number of people develop at some point in life (especially during pregnancy). But this combined with my love of beauty and cosmetics seemed like the perfect excuse to try out some skin care products.
My immediate ‘go to’ product was Bio Oil, just because it was the skin care product I’d heard most about in association with stretch marks. My mum actually managed to find some lurking in the back of her medicine cupboard that had never been opened. It had been there a very long time but didn’t appear to have a sell by date on it, so I thought ‘what the heck, waste not want want not’ and I gave it a go. I’ve been using it twice a day for almost a month now and am on my second bottle, which I have to say appears to be having more of an affect than the first (maybe the old bottle from the back of my mums cupboard had gone a little out of date, I think it was about five years old to be fair). Though I have recently incorporated a few more products into my stretch mark beauty routine and started putting a few drops of the bio oil into my daily bath as well, I do think it’s starting to take the redness down and the marks seem to be beginning to fade. The bottle does advise that the product should be used for a minimum of three months, so I guess only time will tell but so far things are looking promising.
The second skin care product I’ve recently started using to keep the affected area moisturised is Sanctuary Spa’s Ultimate Salt Scrub. I bought this product because I’d read that exfoliation can help the appearance of stretch marks and when I looked it up online, I saw heaps and heaps of positive comments and reviews about the product. Although the scrub isn’t necessarily designed to help with stretch marks it contains coconut and jojoba oil, two ingredients which I’ve read are good for stretch marked skin. I absolutely love this scrub and would recommend it not only to those with stretch marks, but to anyone who is having trouble with dry skin. At first when you apply it, it does leave a sort of oily residue on the top of the skin, but once your out of the shower/bath and dried, it leaves your skin feeling silky smooth and incredibly moisturised (at least in my experiences). It also smells beautiful!!
As well as using these two products, I’ve been drinking plenty of water (to ensure I keep hydrated), eating a ton of veg (broccoli and cauliflower are my faves) and using moisturisers whenever I remember to. I’m pretty sure the marks are starting to fade and I’m hoping this will help prevent new ones from forming. Whatever happens, it can’t hurt to treat my skin to some much deserved pampering….its been lovely!!