Amira's Belly Dance for the miserable mornings

When I first worked with Amira's Belly Dance & Yoga For Pregnancy (reviewed here), I really enjoyed it but wondered how often I would have enough time to do the full 1.5 hour workout. Oh, silly, innocent me! How naive I was as I was entering my third trimester. Little did I know in those halcyon days that sleeping through the night would soon become a special treat.

Backwards undulation as labour prep

So early this morning, sleep-deprived for a few days now, angry at the world and everyone around me, and having just felt my baby turn head up, I decided to give up on my ill-fated attempts to fall asleep again. I had a meeting to get to in the morning, but still plenty of time to get in, well, a full 1.5 hour workout -- and after several restless nights, my body needed it.

Let's just say this: the careful yoga stretches and deliberate and beautiful bellydance movements took me from being murderous to being almost -- happy! Once or twice, I even found myself smiling. Everything was much harder for my exhausted body to perform, but it also felt so much more necessary. This time, since I'm closer to my due date, I also paid more attention to the "Exercises During Labor" section. In fact, these exercises are also bellydance movements (pelvic drops, umis, and a lower-body backwards undulation), but I tried to imagine myself stringing them together during labour, mentally training for the big event. There were also yogic breathing exercises which I found amazingly soothing, including one that timed breathing to head rolls, which I think I could actually keep track of during labour! And the "Cool Down" section has a series of shoulder stretches that were particularly satisfying after nights of fighting with pillows and days of tensing up at work.

The last time I did Amira's Belly Dance & Yoga it was fun. This time around, it helped me face the day. When I finished, I set up some couch cushions for a shavasana and pretty promptly... fell asleep!


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