Pregnancy is a time of beautiful change and it’s so important that we find time during this transition to nourish, strengthen and support our bodies, minds, breath and most importantly our connection to our baby, and pregnancy yoga is a wonderful way to do this.
The below lists the key precautions and areas to be mindful of as you practice yoga during your pregnancy. As it’s such a time of change within a women’s body, it’s so important that we respect and nurture that change, rather than resisting it.
Be mindful as you practice, tuning into how you feel both physically and emotionally. Many women feel very different from day to day during their pregnancy, and these classes are here to support you no matter how you feel. The more you’re able to share with the teacher before class, the more they will be able to support you.
Let your teacher know about any specific pains or injuries. It’s not uncommon to suffer with issues such as heartburn, pelvic girdle pain and carpal tunnel and each class can be adapted to suit you.
Avoid moving too fast or rushing your practice, instead move slowly and gently, resting whenever you need to and never jumping from pose to pose.
Let the movements be fluid and not forceful, avoiding holding any pose for longer than five breaths.
If you’re practising sun salutations come up and down slower than normal and be aware that this may make you feel dizzy and is therefore unadvisable if you are suffering from low or high blood pressure.
Avoid core work, crunching into the baby, inversions (these put a lot of pressure on your lower back) and closed twists. If forward folds feel awkward then avoid those too.
If lying on your front doesn’t feel right, then avoid this. Likewise, many women find lying on their back after 30 weeks feels uncomfortable too, instead you can lie on your side.
Let the breath be full and steady, when you’re pregnant your heart is already working much harder than normal so don’t overly control the breath or hold it in. During this precious time we don’t need to link each movement with a specific breath – just do what feels right in your body and ensure that no matter what asana (yoga posture) we’re in you can breathe deeply and fully.
During your pregnancy you will have more of the hormone relaxin in your body, which means you may be more flexible than normal. Please be conscious of this and don’t continue pushing into the deepest possible expression of a stretch. This is especially relevant if you’re practising while pregnant in a regular yoga class.
Use the props provided to support you and your baby, especially during savasana and other periods of rest. Always supporting your knees with bolsters or blocks in baddha konasana (butterfly pose).
Use your practise as a time to relax, connect with yourself and most importantly to connect with your baby.