Morning sickness – what do you do when asana is out of the question?

Morning sickness is the pits. It is horribly misnamed  – if only it just appeared first thing in the day – and it feels like it will last forever. For some, it will indeed the last for the duration of pregnancy, but for most of us, thankfully, it tails off at the start of the second trimester. A physical yoga practice may well be the last thing you want to do, so here are some tips for how to get your yoga fix in other ways during this rather trying period.

Take a walk – A long walk does wonders for mind and body. From weeks 7-11, I was barely able to manage any asana practice. Instead, I walked. I found it hugely helpful both in terms of keeping my strength up and clearing my mind, which had become rather flooded with anxiety about the fact that I was feeling so rough and panic about the fact that I didn’t want to turn into a total couch potato. I always felt better after a long walk in the fresh air. And I often returned home feeling more energetic.

Be kind to yourself – Remember the practice of ahimsa – loving yourself as well as others. Allow yourself to rest and nourish yourself with food that makes you feel good. Make yourself a soothing drink and tuck yourself up under a blanket.

Sit still and meditate – Some days when I was feeling particularly rough, I’d go and sit on the hill in our local park, look out over London and take a few minutes to simply breathe and observe. It is incredible how effective this is for regaining a little internal peace and quiet.

Switch off from all the noise – I wish I took my own advice on this a little more often. Feeling sick and uncomfortable can make you feel really frazzled. Combine this with Instagram / FB scrolling and it is a total recipe for mental overload. Tuck the phone down the corner of the sofa or leave it in another room – especially in the evenings and find a bit of mental space.
Practice something else – Why not try applying the same focus that you might apply to your asana practice to something else, be it knitting, painting or singing. Sit quietly, absorbed in your task, breathing, focussing on the job in hand and letting any anxiety or mental chitter chatter float away.

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