Our lives are so busy these days, but I would encourage you to take the time to really develop a bond with your baby. It will be invaluable after birth. The best postures for a very short prenatal practice are cat/cow pose – to warm up and stretch your spine and sun salutations – modified for pregnancy and including downward dog (which can be practiced up to 35 weeks and balances the hormonal system). Sun salutations work with every muscle in the body. Be sure to always practice a relaxation – Savasana – after the poses. That is essential. In fact, if you only have time to do one thing, practice Savasana. You will feel so much better for it.
It is. In fact, a lot of my students have been introduced to yoga through their pregnancy. The benefits are so huge that they continue after the baby is born, with mums and bubs yoga, and later with dynamic flow yoga. Prenatal yoga is gentle and the postures can be modified for your experience level. It’s a great way to start!
Yoga can help with morning sickness, improving your fitness, muscle tone and flexibility. It is fantastic for coping with the hormonal and emotional changes of pregnancy, dealing with stress and developing a bond with your baby. It’s also wonderful for labour, birth and postnatal recovery.
This is highly individual. For some women, it is enough to practice once a week, for others it feels better to practice more often. It will depend on what you are practicing. If it’s yoga postures – then every second day is the limit. You need to give your body a break. If its meditation or relaxation, then you can practice as often as you wish.
There are certain positions and breathing techniques we explore in yoga that are optimal for labour and birth. Whilst they can’t guarantee you a natural birth, they will certainly help you minimise and relieve the pain of labour. It is best to practise these techniques regularly up until your due date, so they become quite natural to you in labour.
This is highly individual and some women lie on their backs throughout their entire pregnancy with no problems. However, in your second and third trimesters, your growing uterus can slow the circulation in your legs by compressing the inferior vena cava (the large vein that returns blood from the lower half of the body to the heart) and the pelvic veins. Lying flat on your back can make this problem worse – by slowing your heart rate; causing your blood pressure to drop, resulting in feeling anxious, dizzy, and nauseas. In yoga, if this is an issue, we encourage women to lay on their side, rather than their back.
Yes you can! In fact, it will most likely help your recovery post birth if you do. Barring any medical issues, such as pre-eclampsia, it is recommended for you to practise as long as you can, although the poses will be modified for you as you progress and your ability to practise every pose will decrease, due to the size of your abdomen.
The first trimester is the most delicate time during pregnancy. It is inadvisable to jolt the pelvis in anyway, therefore some yoga teachers prefer to wait till your second trimester, before you commence yoga practice. If you are concerned, have experienced previous miscarriages, or have undergone IVF, it is advisable to follow this suggestion. However, if you are reasonably fit and have had no previous issues, then prenatal yoga may be safe for you, even in your first trimester – as long as you avoid certain postures, which your teacher will advise you of.
Yoga is safe during pregnancy in most cases and if taught in the right way, but you must always consult your medical practitioner before commencing any exercise programme during pregnancy.
Yoga is one of the best and safest forms of exercise during pregnancy. This is a fact that has become so recognised that Obstetricians and GPs alike now advise their pregnant patients to participate in yoga. However, there are quite a few yoga postures that are contraindicated (not recommended) in pregnancy. Therefore ‘pregnancy yoga’ specifically, also known as ‘prenatal yoga’, is always the best practice for you. You should ask your prenatal yoga teacher how they have modified the yoga for pregnancy and satisfy yourself that they are suitably trained to teach you during your practice.
YogaYin Pregnancy Yoga is specifically designed for pregnant women and completely avoids poses that are not safe – particularly those that cut off blood flow to your baby. Poses such as close twists, advanced backbends, total inversions (where the body is upside down) can be risky. My yoga has been created using flowing gentle postures so it is safe for any stage of pregnancy – whether first, second or third trimester. However, if you are in your first trimester, or have experienced complications with this pregnancy or a previous one, it may be best to leave prenatal Yoga until your second trimester, just to be completely safe.