Throughout the pregnancy you are always told to keep healthy with food and exercise – you can either continue with certain sports to a point or join various classes at key points. I tried swim classes for pregnant ladies like me but that was hellish for people who don’t have a straight forward pregnancy.
I felt so humiliated with my inability to basically do half of the pregnancy swim class and then putting up with a period of “relaxation” where the cliques talked for half an hour and the rest of us floated about trying to relax with no clue what was going on. The whole experience really made me cautious about expecting a good experience at pregnancy yoga after that. I did however book my place around the end of the corner from me with loads of really great reviews in terms of their pregnancy classes.
Upon booking online I had to fill out a form which included a section about any health issues. All of the stuff online states that you have to wait until at least 12 weeks to go but every place has a different policy. Lush Tums have a policy to wait until 16 weeks but as the class fell on a Saturday and my week 16 would start two days later I listed this along with my other health issues asking if this would be an issue.
I have filled out the added sections on forms before, always being open about my issues and nothing ever happens. My first experience of Lush Tums however was a surprise. Within 24 hours of booking my first session mot only did I get a response that I was fine for me to turn up 2 days before being 16 weeks pregnant but I also got a wonderful response about my health issues. The instructor Clare was open that she tailors her sessions based on the issues of all her students but to make sure to talk to the instructor of the class before each class just to highlight this.
Compared to my experience of the swimming lesson, where I struggled to find much information at all, this was already hands down so much better. It was at this point though that I tried to make sure I didn’t get my hopes up but this did help me feel a lot calmer.
The morning of my class arrived and I planned to arrive at 10.30, despite the venue being literally 5 minutes from my flat so that I would be able to find the venue as well as have time to talk to the instructor and settle. Walking in the door hidden behind the busy Western Road I was greeted with a set of stairs or corridor – it was great though as I already knew from all the clear signs to go and talk to reception upstairs as soon as I arrived.
The lady on reception greeted me with a smile and was so great at dealing with a clearly nervous me with everything I needed to know. The loo was downstairs, along with the changing rooms, while the studio door was just to my left. She went on to inform me that I didn’t need to bring or burrow a towel unlike the other yoga classes and that while we can have small bags or valuables in the class that there is a lot of space in the changing room for any thing else, including shoes and coats. It was then at this point that rather than letting me try to sort my self out and then hunt out who was the teacher, she went out of her way to ensure that I got introduced to her.
This is where I met Clare and all of my worries of the class went away; she was so wonderfully calming and understanding of all my issues. I loved how she made a point that she always has to tailor her classes for the aches, pains, injuries and other issues of people in her class so she provides alternatives of any thing that she think might be an issue. I have been told this before so my guard was a little up – people make vague promises of considering all their students needs and then either don’t follow through or make you feel singled out. I think how Clare then went into how some of her students deal with hip issues brought on by pregnancy and that she does a Hello Circle were people share about their week made me feel so much better. The way that she inquired more information about what I could and couldn’t do, asking follow-up questions, made me feel that she was really listening. The whole conversation may have only taken up 5 minutes but it really felt wonderful that she was willing to arrive early to talk to people. With our conversation over, it was at this point she started talking to another student who was dealing with some bad back pain that week. Rather than just making vague promises, Clare then started to open up with ideas of what could help her in and out of class. Even before the class had started it was clear that this was going to be a completely different and wonderful experience compared to the swim class.
As they continued their conversation I slipped back down stairs and got ready for the class before returning up again and into the studio. The room was bright and airy; to my relief there were no mirrors! There were some mat already left out and others were grabbing their own to find a spot. As I had planned to arrive early there were few people when I arrived so I got a spot and sat down with a lovely lady next to me. Straight away she said hello and struck up a conversation.
It was great as she helped me set things up and told me about what to expect. As more and more ladies came in I was given a form to fill out as a first time student. When I had completed it I returned my attention back to the now buzzing room full of mats and women.
Now I had booked my place a few weeks before hand and even before the lesson started women were having to be turned away as it was fully booked and spare places had already been taken; 10 minutes before the lesson started and the room was packed! This classes popularity really did speak for its self as I was the only new student.
The lesson started with a hello from Clare before her as planned Hello Circle. This basically involves going around the whole room and each lady saying their name, how many weeks they are and then some time to talk about their week. This was fantastic as you are in a room of other pregnant ladies who are sharing in an open space to complain about their week and issues – you aren’t alone and people are able to share in a safe place with others being able to give great advice. As all this went on Clare was able to in part what would help in terms of the class as well as outside. She was also noting things down and stating what exercises we were going to do especially for that issue. It was an incredible experience that I have not had the chance to have in terms of my pregnancy. Not only did it feel great to be able to share this moment with the others there but I also to feel listened to by an instructor.
The class was amazing – with every exercise Clare would give us alternatives without directly pointing out people but by talking about issues even if there was only one person suffering from that. She was also great at explaining what each exercise would be great for; they covered things for labour, back pain, relaxation, and so much more.
For me, even with all my head, back and shoulder issues, I was able to take part in the whole class and felt amazing! I had learnt loads of really useful things and felt fantastic. The class however wasn’t just about exercises but finished with a relaxation part. Unlike the swimming one that was just “go relax” and the instructor chatting away to the lifeguard or checking her nails, this was lead by Clare as she talked through something I have only experienced from a relaxation therapy specialist that I had to see with the Nurophysio. Lying down she talked everyone through this meditative session with her soft accent and music making you feel like a whole new person afterwards. Turns out that her talk through mediation is so popular and has helped so many ladies in the classes that she has recorded some; ladies were boasting how they had found them to be the only thing to help them relax (which then helped them not ache) or to get to sleep when nothing else would work. One lady mentioned how a previous student had played it during her labour between contractions and found it highly positive.
Even as the class finished everyone was so friendly, while Clare went and talked to students with more suggestions to help them or just to see how they were. After the class I ended up talking to a few ladies; I loved just how friendly and open everyone was. In the changing rooms this continued as the ladies continued to be so welcoming and slowly we all went our own ways.
I loved my first session that I booked my next class on my phone before I had walked into my flat 5 minutes away to ensure I wouldn’t miss out from it being fully booked. I have never wanted to sign up so quickly for something after my first session and I think it just goes to show how much I adored it.
For me this class is incredible as it helps with so many things! I am now a huge fan of Clare and her lessons – I will do everything I can to ensure I don’t miss a lesson where possible and will be looking forward to what next week will have in store. I can see now why her lessons are so over booked – it is really will be the highlight of my week and it is already for most ladies in the class.
If you are pregnant I would recommend checking out http://www.lushtums.co.uk/ and seeing if they are doing any lessons near you. I am lucky that I have the classes so close but I know that quite a few of the ladies travelled from Worthing and further as they were worth it. I’ll definitely be at the Brighton and Hove sessions over the next few months!
Have you been to a pregnancy yoga lesson? What did you think of it? Have you been to Lush Tums? What is your favourite pregnancy class? I would love to hear from you so leave a comment below!
This review was all my own opinion and hasn’t been sponsored in any way. After writing this post I did approach Clare to ask if there were any photos or images I could use and they have been wonderful and provided photos.