Pregnancy Yoga or Prenatal Yoga is a fantastic way to prepare your body and mind for birth and mother hood.
The Prenatal Yoga classes comprise of a series of exercises that will help you’re your body cope with the huge changes going on and prepare for the birth of your baby or babies.
Each year we train midwives to become yoga teachers and they always recall that they notice women in labour who have used Yoga as birth preparation – they are more focused and better able to deal with the intensity that labour can sometimes spring on us.
- Pregnancy Yoga helps you learn to relax. We can’t really teach you how to give birth. The exquisite way your body is designed, means you already know how to give birth, all you need to do is relax and let nature take its course.
- Relaxation techniques can help you cope with the stresses of motherhood, but more importantly, the intensity of labour.
- Flexibility is helpful if you are going to let your body open during birth. Prenatal Yoga postures can help loosen tight muscles and joints, allowing you the freedom to adopt what ever positions you like in labour.
- Keeping up with a regular exercise program in pregnancy is important. Carrying a child is like doing a mini marathon over those nine months. You need to keep up your strength for what’s coming and to help prepare your body for birth. You can attend prenatal yoga from 12 weeks onwards.
- Many pregnant women feel their posture suffers from the additional weight of their baby and their new boobs. Prenatal Yoga can help stretch out and strengthen your body.
Yoga during pregnancy guidelines
The elbowroom provides one of the leading pregnancy yoga teacher training courses and our team of teachers, midwives and healthcare specialists have provided the following guidelines:
After 12 weeks of pregnancy when women are in their 2nd Trimester they can commence pregnancy yoga classes in a group setting.
Women in pregnancy can only attend the pregnancy yoga classes and must not attend any other main stream yoga classes (hatha, hot, vinyasa flow, ashtanga etc).
Yoga teachers unless specifically trained to teach prenatal yoga, are not covered under their insurance policies to have you attend their class as a pregnant woman. In addition our studio insurance does not permit us to have mixed pregnancy and main stream yoga classes.
Before the second trimester private classes are available to instruct women on a very gentle restorative and breathing practice. However we do not offer pregnancy yoga classes prior to 12 weeks of pregnancy.
The reasons being:
- The first three months of pregnancy are especially important. Although there is little to see on the outside, the body is furiously assembling a life-support system for the baby inside. Hormones are released that build up the uterine lining, and blood volume increases to facilitate this construction. Blood pressure drops so that the heart can pump all the extra liquid. Muscle tissue begins to relax and joints start to loosen in order to allow the uterus to stretch as the baby grows.
- Most women suffer fatigue in the first trimester and this is due to the massive amount of energy used to change interstitial cells and to perform the very complex and consuming functions involved in forming a baby.
- The early part of this trimester (before week ten) has the highest risk, so physical activity during this period should encourage an optimal environment in the uterus to insure implantation of the embryo and proper attachment of the placenta. It is imperative that this process is given the best chance.
- In the normal pregnancy class, there are are great number of squatting, semi inverted poses and poses that twist and fold the abdomen which we feel are not suitable. And with the large group size it is impossible for us to accommodate two different groups in the one class.
Instead we recommend first trimester women follow a restorative practice. The fatigue, is a sign that your body needs to rest and let the amazing work take place.
If you would like a private pregnancy class for first trimester, you can book in with a teacher and we can guide you through what will help and you can use this with a home practice and resume your classes after week 12.
The elbowroom has an extensive range of classes for all ages and abilities. We offer such an eclectic mix to enable you to find something that will suit you. If you need any advice, please contact our class advisor who can point you in the right direction.