So you’re pregnant – congratulations!
This is a time of enormous change in your life. You may be holding onto your workout routine for as long as possible. This is fine as long as your doc gives you the go-ahead.
But, there hits a point in your pregnancy where something gets in the way (your belly, to be exact). You can’t exactly ask your growing baby for a little space, so it’s time to work with your burgeoning girth.
A prenatal yoga class can be a great way to support your pregnancy. Even if you’re a seasoned yogini, prenatal yoga is a little different from a standard yoga class. Here are things to keep in mind while you introduce your baby to its first meditative experience:
1. Follow your rules
The past yoga classes you may have been to might have recommended that you stay in a hot room even when faint or wait to drink water. This is not the time to be a hero (you already are). Drink water when you want and leave the room at any time if you need to pee. You won’t be the only one!
2. Find a new edge
“Find your edge” is a common catchphrase in yoga studios. When you’re pregnant, your body can go much further than it could before due to the hormone relaxin. Hold yourself back, as overstretching can lead to injury, like pulling a muscle or even injuring a joint.
3. Learn how to breathe
Prenatal yoga classes are usually slower than traditional yoga classes. You can really tune into your breath and the changing sensations in your body in a way that can benefit your labour.
4. Mula Bandha all the way
If your teacher cues you to activate your Mula Bandha, this is certainly something to keep in mind! Mula Bandha is a pelvic floor energy lock, kind of like when you stop the flow of urine midstream. Doing these throughout the class will keep you toned, er, downstairs in a way that will help with recovery post-birth. A toned pelvic floor can also lead to less tearing during childbirth.
5. Side savasana
Savasana changes in prenatal classes from being on your back to being on your left side. The increased blood volume in the body during pregnancy puts additional pressure on the vein that runs alongside the spine called the Vena Cava. Go spoon a bolster and don’t be afraid to fall asleep. You need your rest and relaxation.
Ask your teacher if you have any questions about how you should modify or feel.
And remember to take a deep breath…for two.