I recently worked with Naia’s Bellydance Prenatal Fitness for the first time, and can report the following: this is a useful little workout if you are pregnant, tired, but want to move a little anyway. It is not strenuous in the slightest, which could be good or bad depending on your point of view.
|Naia grooves to pregnancy|
If you are a pregnant lady who has done years of bellydance and wants to keep running marathons in the third trimester, you will probably not get much out this program. Just avoid it and avoid the disappointment. However, if you are a pregnant lady who hasn’t been sleeping well, or who has a bit of back or knee pain, or who just does not want to commit to an hour-long workout that day, this is very good. I’m only in the second trimester and generally feel pretty energetic, but I expect this will only come in more handy as I get further along. I also think it could be useful outside of pregnancy on days I’m lazy, want a simple 30 minutes of dancing around, or when I’m suffering from mild back pain and don’t want to take chances with a more aggressive workout.
Now to the program: it is divided into five sections, a warmup, lower and upper body, travel steps, and a bit of dance. The bellydance moves are quite basic, though I did find myself a bit confused in the travel steps section. (This is not my strong suit, so I would have liked a little slower instruction here — but it’s also something to grow into.) There’s quite a bit of emphasis on stretching, which felt very good. And there was precious little of the “think about the miracle of life growing inside of you” kind of talk which I have found in other prenatal videos, and which, frankly, drives me up the wall. (I’m not dancing for my fetus, I’m dancing for myself. My fetus can learn to dance once it comes into the world and has mastered the whole walking thing.)
I corresponded a bit with Neon, who conceived and designed the video (and, full disclosure, sent me a review copy from WDNY). She did quite a bit of research on pregnancy and labour to create this program. I’m not a medical expert, but I can confirm that there is nothing in this video that feels extreme or like it would put undue pressure on any part of the body. And given that everything I’ve read about prenatal exercise advises women to perform moves that bellydance incorporates anyway, I’d rather just do something that’s like dance than a dozen boring pelvic tilts.