I’d taken one of the free survey classes at Yoga Republic about a year back and already knew it was the sort of place I was into – clean and tidy with a dash of bohemian style. Located in a charismatic, high-ceilinged prewar building in the center, it’s spacious and airy: even on a 28 degree afternoon in summer. I showed up in my now trademark breathless rush and immediately ordered up a month’s membership – I was going the whole hog, for real this time. They took one look at my dazed, very pregnant state and asked me when the last time I worked out was. I warily admitted it had been months, but that I had been ‘very active’ in the meantime. As expected, the ladies at the desk were super nice, with a hint of dubiousness. They asked me to be very careful and to stop the moment I felt any discomfort: I promised to take it slow and we convened in a pleasant, spacious room with wooden floors and soft, ambient music barely audible in the background.
Over the next hour we gently stretched and shifted into a reasonable number of relatively straightforward positions. That said, the fact that I’d been doing yoga as a non-pregnant lady on a somewhat regular basis over the past ten years meant the basics were still coded in my limbs and breathing. I was astonished to find myself more or less as limber as I’d ever been. In fact, pregnancy does loosen up your joints so you have to be careful not to ‘overstretch’. Otherwise, it’s an amazing way to de-stress and to get the pelvis (sorry, guys) revved up for the birthing process by encouraging it to expand and get more flexible.
Yoga Republic offers classes for pregnant women (called Chandra) four times a week, in addition to a full schedule of four other types of yoga to suit experience and expectations (Mysore, Ashtanga, Vinyasa and Beginner’s). There’s a load of yoga studios around the city, but this one combines the old school with the new, plus a nice dash of homey, prewar charm and a touch of the east. (AMG)