Monday, April 28, 2008

Enlightened Competition

I started taking a prenatal yoga class a couple weeks back, and I love it.  I haven't had sciatica pain since I started, which is a pretty huge deal, and I feel like I'm learning a lot about how the body and muscle groups work during pregnancy.  All good things.

There is one part of the class that I don't love.  I have come to the conclusion that there is a fine line in the land of women between commiseration and competition, and that this does not lessen in delicate circumstances such as pregnancy.  Maybe it's the heightened hormones (on my part?), maybe it's the situation (best in the class competition?), but I seem to think that when pregnant women get together we should be a little more in awe of the lives we are creating and a little less focused on who's winning the pregnancy race.

One woman in my class had worse aches than the rest of us and couldn't be bothered to listen to our yoga foci and goals; one was way further along than the rest of us and therefore had nothing more in common with us because we just couldn't understand what it's like to be 35 weeks, and I overheard one say, "Oh, you haven't felt your baby move yet?  You probably will soon" in what I took to be a mildly condescending tone.  (This last comment, to me, was reminiscent of women who might someday say "Your baby hasn't rolled over yet?  Mine is crawling and sleeping through the night and playing Debussy on the piano already!" With the "shouldn't you be concerned?" lowering of the voice.)

I'd like to add that as it turns out this is the FIRST pregnancy for everyone in the class.  

~On a completely petty side note, let me confess that I may or may not have felt a bit intimidated by these women from the get-go because of their perfectly manicured hands and feet and actual yoga outfits that match.  For the record, I usually show up with my scraggily toes, exercise pants, and the t-shirt of the moment that covers my entire baby bump without creative layering.  Not to mention that I am definitely the youngest member of this class.~

So, we have arrived at the crux of my dilemma: is it that women are constantly in competition amongst ourselves no matter what, or is all of this to blame on the area of my pregnant brain that is now named Take-Everything-Personally-Even-If-It's-Not-Directed-At-You-Or-Even-Mildly-Aggressive (which, I have a sneaking suspicion, takes up a great deal of my frontal lobe lately)?

These days it's kind of hard to tell.


Ann K. said...

YAY! I now have a new fun way to spend my day: checking Liz's blog. Love the post about the yupsters in your yoga class who have managed to turn pregnancy into a competition. You should hide a camera in your yoga mat and post the whole thing to YouTube for a chilling look at what happens when young, urban Seattlites unleash their pretentiousness!

Kate P said...

I'd probably pretend to be meditating so I could ignore them!