Prenatal Yoga: What you MUST Know
Are you pregnant? CONGRATULATIONS! I've found that continuing a modified, slower paced, feel good yoga practice during pregnancy has helped in SO many ways. I hope you try to continue your yoga practice. Here are my "Dos & Donts" to get you started.
In general, listen to your body and know that the body doesn't like, you are your own best teacher. Move slowly and with awareness in and out of each pose a little bit more than you would in any yoga class. Feeling exhausted may be a big factor for you. If you feel like you need to take a break, take it! Remember this isn’t only about you, it’s also about your itty bitty baby on the way :). Know that balance may come and go depending on the day. When pregnant, relaxin (hormone) loosens joints, ligaments and tendons making them vulnerable to over-stretching. This may result in tearing, injury or potentially long-term musculoskeletal programs. Play around with various poses and notice if you feel stable in them. If you feel unstable then back away from them. This is a time to err on the side of complete caution.
In general, things to avoid =
Compression of your belly: Forward Folds pulling up and in
Twisting postures that close off the pelvis: Seated Twist, Reverse Half Moon
Revolving Crescent Lunge
Lying on your back for too long: Listen to your body! I prefer to always just lay on my side. Left side is recommended.
Lying on your belly
Full up dog when your belly is too large
Heated Yoga Classes: Not a time to integrate heat if you haven't before but even if you have, be very cautious, especially the first trimester
Jumping forward in Vinyasa
Yoga Poses I Loved While Pregnant
Frog: Any opening of the pelvis and front hips will help with baby’s delivery
Forward folds: Lovely opening of the hips and back relief.
Gentle Backbends: Standing backbend, Camel Pose, Dancers/Standing Bow
Plank and Side Planks
Eagle: Love this one to facilitate movement of the lymphatic system and open the upper back/neck.
Move with the flow of your baby. Maintain or modify what you were doing pre-pregnancy versus trying anything new or more advanced. This is a time to do things that make you and your baby-to-be FEEL GOOD. Seperate your feet wide enough for your belly in child's pose, downward facing dog and forward folds but remember to not stretch it too far since the hormone relaxin is in play during pregnancy.
Are there other yoga movements that make you feel good during pregnancy? Would love to hear!