Pregnancy yoga offers a fantastic way to relax your mind and body and connect to your growing baby. Yoga can be done during each trimester, as long as you know which poses to avoid and how to get the most from your class. If you have experienced any complications falling pregnant or during your pregnancy, we always recommend getting the go ahead from your medical practitioner first. As your body begins to change and your baby begins to grow, you will need to adjust your practice. Expecting to be able to do the same things you did in class before your pregnancy can end up doing more harm than you may realise. To help you get the most from pregnancy yoga, we have put together a simple guide.
Before You Begin Your Pregnancy Yoga Practice…
Just as you go into any other type of yoga with careful awareness of your body, you will need to be fully aware of your limitations in pregnancy yoga. That’s not to say that you cannot enjoy a full, rewarding practice from your first trimester to your third trimester. It simply means taking extra care to practice safely. Here are some things to note before you get started.
Practice in a dedicated class.
If you have experience specifically in prenatal yoga, practising at home is possible. It is best to practice in a class that is tailored for pregnant women, however. This is the best way to move through asanas safely, allowing you to enjoy your practice without discomfort. An experienced, qualified teacher will also be able to give you advice on how to make the class more accessible.
Use props to increase support.
Props should be used to provide support. This will help reduce any pressure and prevent over-doing poses. Be sure to bring along blocks, bolsters, a yoga blanket or two, and anything else that will make your class more comfortable (if your studio does not have these already). This is your space to nurture yourself and your growing baby. To do that, you should be fully supported.
Make adjustments as needed.
On a similar note, it is also a good idea to make adjustments as needed. You are your best teacher! As your pregnancy progresses, your sense of balance changes along with your body. Certain poses that were fine at the start of your pregnancy might become far harder during the third trimester. Equally, some poses may become easier. For example, the hormone relaxin helps to relax the ligaments in the pelvis, especially in the third trimester to allow it to stretch in preparation for giving birth – so pelvis and hip-opening poses may feel more accessible. Equally, overstretching these areas is not good for the body. Always listen to your body and make your way out of any pose that feels too uncomfortable or painful.
Stay hydrated and cool.
Ventilation is essential. Stuffy rooms with no windows or doors can make it harder to complete your practice, especially when you are still battling with morning sickness. A cool, well-ventilated space will help you to breathe more freely and avoid overheating. This will also help to ease dizziness. Make sure that you drink plenty of water, too.
House of Yoga offers a nurturing class that is tailored to moms-to-be in all trimesters. Book a space in our Yoga for Pregnancy class today or get in touch if you’d like to ask any questions!