Why do yoga when you are pregnant?
Midwives often recommend yoga to mums-to-be, but what are the benefits?
Pre-natal yoga can help you:
- spend time focusing on your baby and bond.
- build strength to carry your baby in your womb, strength for labour and post-birth recovery.
- open up your body, especially the hips, for childbirth.
- increase body awareness and provide ways to manage a range of physical discomforts that can crop up during pregnancy.
- connect to your breath and use it to feel calm, manage emotional ups and downs and during childbirth (including caesarean births).
- have a range of tools you can use to cope with changes and flourish in your new life as a mother.
I already do yoga, can I continue my regular class?
If you are an experienced yogi and have an established practice over many years, then you may wish to continue your regular yoga practice if your teacher and midwife are happy for you to do so. You will need to speak to your teacher and tell them that you are pregnant and heed their advice. Some styles are less suitable for pregnancy than others and you will need to be mindful of your joints as the hormone relaxin makes your joints looser. You will need to modify some poses and avoid others entirely and you may find the focus of your practice changes. Now is a time for maintaining strength and flexibility and listening to your body, rather than experimenting with new yoga moves. On the other hand you may find that as your physical practice becomes more gentle, you are able to go deeper with the inner focus of your practice. Enjoy the journey!
How does pre-natal yoga differ?
Pre-natal yoga is designed specifically for the pregnant women. Poses focus on creating the space, strength and stability to support you through your pregnancy and birth. Even if you are an experienced yogini, you will find new breathing and mindfulness techniques to complement an existing yoga practice and time to bond with your baby.
What to expect in a class?
You just need to bring yourself, comfy clothes and something to drink. We have mats and all the props we need at the studio to make you comfortable. Classes cover breathing and meditation practices, gentle stretches to iron out aches and pains and keep you feeling easeful (or as easeful as possible!) in your body, and specific exercises to build strength for giving birth (and carrying your baby, both in your womb, and later in your arms!).
I have symphysis pubis dysfunction, can I still practice yoga?
SPD (symphysis pubis dysfunction), or Pelvic Girdle Pain as it’s also known, is an acute pain in your pelvis. Pregnancy hormones cause the ligaments joining the pelvis to soften, bring instability to that area. It can be very painful. If you experiencing any symptoms that you think might be SPD, speak to your healthcare professional as soon as possible as it can be managed. Please also let your yoga teacher know. You will be able to continue classes, but there are some poses which won’t be suitable. Your yoga teacher will be able to provide alternatives and poses to help.
Come along to a class at Falmouth Yoga Space, 11:00am-12:00pm on Mondays to try for yourself. Suitable for women in their second trimester (14 weeks) onwards.