I won one of Shiva Rea’s prenatal yoga DVD’s through an online contest and got it when I was about 3 months pregnant. I started doing the program immediately and got hooked on the spot.
The program is about an hour long, and guides you through a warm up, some standing poses, floor work and guided relaxation. Following the exercises effectively looses any tension I have in my lower back and sacrum. I felt better even after one try. After the practice, I feel relaxed and toned at the same time, without the morning-after strain other types of workout generally induce. If I only had the time, I would be able to do the whole session twice a day (right now I’m at about 3 to 4 times a week, sometimes just doing the warm up and relaxation, or one of the parts of the DVD).
I’ve had great fun doing the workout with my 3-year old daughter and my rather stiff husband. My daughter even comes to ask me if I want to do the session with her, even though she doesn’t last the whole hour.
I had no prior experience in yoga, save the handful times I have practiced an introductory DVD I once picked up. I do have a rather extensive background in dance, in different styles, and recognize a lot of the warm up exercises from what I did there. I found myself to be still rather bendy, although I gave up dancing five years ago.
In general the session is easy to follow for someone who is somewhat in shape and has a certain degree of flexibility and balance. Some of the poses do require a little repetition, but after a few weeks of doing the routine, I think I may safely say that I have mastered them.
There are three women to follow, depending on the stage of your pregnancy, or the degree of flexibility you have. If you find yourself out of balance, or you find the session too hard, you can always follow one of the women in the later stages, who give a modified, less demanding option.
If you have no prior experience in activities that inspire balance and flexibility, this practice might be a little challenging, as I saw my husband struggle, even with the highest degree of modification; his only prior experience in sports is in tennis.
If you are looking for a gentle workout that leaves you feeling refreshed instead of washed out, this is the DVD for you.
You can find out more about the DVD and Shive Rea by visiting Gaiam.