I’m going to be honest. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to yoga. Which is surprising. Because in every other way, I’m a progressive stereotype; a liberal wet dream. I’m a vegetarian, NPR is always on in at least one room of our home, I drive a Subaru, I’m a human rights lawyer, YAWN. By all indications, I should be a full time practicing yogi; I should be on a silent retreat in India and combination juice fast at least monthly. And believe me, there’s part of me that wants to be. Part of me that really wishes I really liked yoga
because, you know, all the cool kids are doing it.
So it was with great trepidation that I ventured into my very first prenatal yoga class on Wednesday evening. A long, narrow room, lined on either side by proverbially glowing pregnant women, in various compilations of stretchy spandex tanks and leggings and a healthy dose of lululemon. All sitting serenely, with their hands on their massively-pregnant-bellies, mats before them, and what are those giant couch cushions doing behind them? And me, by far the smallest and least pregnant among them, at barely 15 weeks, scrambling nervously to pay cash and quietly explaining to “Bec” that it was hi, my first time, <incomprehensible>, I’ll just go to the back, <incomprehensible> mmmkay? I felt like a fraud. I felt inexplicably naked without proof of my pregnant-ness on full display.
everyone had used the bathroom 18 times because ohmygoodness uterus! bladder! madness! pregnant stereotype! we began. If only I had known then what
I know now – kegels-vaginal-sphincter-pelvic-floor-oh
First, we went around the room and everyone said how far along they were, how they were feeling and what they hoped to get out of their practice.
More than half of the women casually mentioned they were between 35-39 weeks.
Literally every single woman, when describing how she was feeling, offered – in a kind of devastating, terrifying, such-a-dark-place-harbinger-of-what’s-to-come! kind of way that belied her glowing face and beautifully rounded belly – I am so, so, tired. SOVERYTIRED.
Other such positivity included, “I feel fine, I’m just annoyed with the world” and “I’m just happy to be away from my other kids.”
VERY WELL THEN, SAFE SPACE, etc.
As I wondered distractedly whether this was what AA was like, it suddenly became my turn. Again regressing to some version of an insecure 7 year old on her first day in a new school, I mumbled my name, cheekily joked that I was just happy to be done with the first trimester, HAR HAR HAR – upon which time I realized that for many women in the room, the first trimester was, you know, approximately 45 weeks ago. If that wasn’t enough, I then proceeded to lie, closely followed by an attempt to
nose? win points with women I hardly knew and might never see again? be totally
deep and sincere because 10 minutes in and I was already feeling SERIOUSLY ZEN?
offer some kind of olive branch by stating how impressed I was to see all of
these full term women doing yoga and how I *cringe* hoped I would be like them one day! Everyone smiled, polite
laughter, <buries face in hands.> (Or something like that. I’ve blacked
it all out at this point.)
With that over with, we proceeded to the yoga. Let the estrogen roll!
If it wasn’t already apparent, this yoga class was different. The words “vaginal sphincter” were dropped at least half a dozen times – and yet I remain uncertain about what exactly I was supposed to be doing with my lady parts during those unexpectedly frequent moments? A lot of women took pee breaks. And there was much discussion of Kegels and “the pelvic floor”.
There was also some deep ommm-ing and, admittedly, some legitimately difficult yoga poses. During one especially terrifying encounter, we were asked to partner up. Luckily!, I was paired with a woman who is clearly 39 weeks and carrying triplets. She was supposed to hold my wrists and lean back. And I was supposed to support her. Because, you know, I’m
5’7 5’3, 115 and we just met.
The look of terror in her eyes as she slowly leaned back was, honestly, kind of
90 minutes later it was all over
and I was
at peace with the world and all of humankind. I still don’t know where
my vaginal sphincter is but I do plan to return to find out.
 I chose this word carefully. Because the way I – the least pregnant among us – entered this yoga class was distinct: the other women –and I say this fully knowing that I am one of them ohmygodsoverysoon – waddled.
 You just take a moment to let that sink in. 37 weeks is full term, like ready to have a baby right this very minute.
 Truth: I said I was 15 weeks so I would sound cool. I was really 14 weeks, 5 days. <guilty look.>
 And I was one of them.
 Seriously though, please raise your hand if you’ve done Kegels. Did I just totally miss the boat on this?
 Update: mother and baby (babies?) are fine.