Monday, February 8, 2010
movin' the baby
My relationship to exercise since I got pregnant has been rocky at best. Between the narcolepsy of my first trimester (with my 4 PM bedtime and 24 hour nausea), and the morning sickness, vomiting, packing and moving of my second trimester, I ended up dropping my gym membership (I couldn't get up early anyways) and slacking off in general. I even had to retire my brand new bicycle because my balance became precarious and falls became too risky.
A friend gave me a yoga-for-pregnant-ladies DVD. I tried it on a number of occasions, but I really couldn't get into it (although it did feel good afterwards). It was really time-consuming, required more floorspace than I possessed and moved really slow. (Alright, I know yoga isn't kick-boxing, but still, it would be nice to be able to skip all the talking).
The physical therapist I saw briefly when I threw my back out recommended bellydancing and it finally occurred to me to look for bellydancing DVDs. Dutch found a core-workout Bellytwins DVD at the library and checked it out for me.
Our (formerly) Puritan House
Since the arrival of the Bellytwins DVD no female visitor to our house has been safe from jiggling her hips with my mom and I. If you don't know my family, you won't understand how shocking, nay, scandalous that last sentence is. I have never seen my parents dance together (or separately), even at weddings (we grew up Baptist). In fact, I went to only one dance as a kid (it was miserable, but I didn't know how to dance, either). I had to learn how to "dance" well after I left home, and I still have a lot of trouble coordinating different body parts.
A typical DVD moment
I slip the disc into the player. The super-cheesy synthesizer faux Arabic music comes on. My dad flees the premises (the music? the sexy dancing? seeing me and my mom shimmy?). My mom drags the KB from the computer. We toss off our shoes (ha, finally a sport that doesn't require fancy foot gear), grab a big glass of water and... well, this is an all-ages blog, I'll spare you the details. The program is divided into handy 15 minute chunks, so we can pick and chose what we'll do. For the entire workout we are on our feet (getting on the floor is EVIL right now, for both me and my mom) and it includes lots of ab-stuff (how fabulous is that?! an ab-workout that does not involve laying on the ground doing sit-ups). There is one tiny section where they do stuff on the ground, we always skip it.
When Eleven came to visit, she was not spared the mandatory bellydance workout. After lots of giggling (all of us-- it is not a serious activity all) we got through a few of the segments. Later she said that it used a lot of "reciprocal movement" meaning that the back of your body is worked as hard as the front, so no one side will get disproportionately bulky (think of that olympic swimmer whose gorilla-like shoulders are drawn forward by his muscles).
Its really fun to do something that is really only relevant to women once in a while. With women. Using leverage that only women's bodies have. Being pregnant has launched me on an interesting journey through my assumptions about gender in general and being a woman in particular. I am starting to relish the time I have with women, growing a woman and doing things that only women can do.
PS. The wiki article is very interesting. I hadn't known the bellydancing outfit we think of was entirely invented by Victorian (of course!) Orientalist painters.