Prenatal Yoga

Prenatal Yoga (yoga during pregnancy)

Pregnancy is an exceptional and marvelous time in life. The prenatal class is specifically designed for this beautiful journey. The classes help strengthen the body for child bearing and relief it from  common discomforts and stress.

Yoga encourages women to look within and connect with their primordial / inherent knowledge of childbirth. Breath is in the center of this class linked with the appropriate postures, and teaching expectant moms to inhale and exhale in a way that is relaxing and natural. This practice increases overall flexibility and strength, and brings peacefulness and vigor to the experience of pregnancy and labor.

Benefits of Prenatal yoga:

Yoga can be the perfect way to stay healthy, strong, and in shape during your pregnancy. This ancient practice retains you limber, tones your muscles, and develops your equilibrium and blood-circulation, with little, impact on your joints.
Furthermore, yoga will help you to learn how to breathe deeply and also, to relax; skills, which will come in handy as you face the physical demands of labor, birth, and motherhood. Learning how to inhale and exhale fully primes you for labor and childbirth as it guides you to stay calm when you need it most.
When you are in pain or anxious and scared, your body produces adrenalin and might drop the oxytocin levels, the valuable hormone that makes your labor progress. A systematic yoga practice will support your struggle against the anxiety, will fight your urge to tighten up despite your throes, and most importantly, show you how to relax and help your baby come out more easily.

Postnatal Yoga Class (after pregnancy)
   This will be the best way to recover your body after giving birth. In Postnatal Yoga classes, postures, breathing techniques, and meditation offer a practice that supports healing, relaxation, and toning.
Mothers, you are invited to join the classes with your babies for an experience that incorporates yoga and bonding with your newborn.
Postnatal classes are appropriate for women from about 4-6 weeks postpartum and up until about six months, or when the baby begins to crawl.

Benefits of Postnatal Yoga
Strengthens the back, abdominal and pelvic floor muscles.
– Releases tension in shoulders and neck muscles.
– Helps to improve posture.
– Decreases overall stress and promotes relaxation.
– Rejuvenates the mind and increases energy.
– Creates a safe environment to bond with baby.
Common Questions:

Is it ok if I have never practiced Yoga before?
Yes. You will find that yoga benefits the mind and body at any point in life. Class is designed to honor the needs and limitations of pregnancy. All the postures can be modified to the level of the student.

When can I start prenatal yoga?
Less is best in the first trimester, as your body is adapting to the hormonal changes and your baby is developing fast. At this stage breathing techniques are encouraged and rest is very important. Fatigue can sometimes be overwhelming and allowing yourself to rest can be challenging as a priority itself. Many yoga teachers agree that 12-16 weeks (3rd month) before starting prenatal yoga is appropriate. However, if you are an experienced yoga practitioner, carrying on with your yoga practice as usual at this time is generally considered to be fine. As always, be mindful of your body, and stay away from strong asanas focusing on the abdomen.

Is it OK to start yoga in the middle of the pregnancy?
Yes. Whether you practice yoga through all nine months of your pregnancy or just the third trimester you will notice the benefits before, during and after birth.

How long can I practice?
You can continue your yoga practice right up to birth.

How often should I do prenatal yoga class?
Ideally – do every day at least for 1 hour. This is sufficient to maintain health. When it is not possible to practice with daily, rhythm (2-3 times a week) is the key to efficiency. The principle of regularity will keep you on track and progressing.

How will Yoga help my pregnancy?
By strengthening the essential muscles needed for birth, reconnecting you with your breath and focusing your mind, the practice of yoga can prepare you for the challenges your labor and birth may bring and open you up to your natural ability to give birth .

Can I practice yoga with back pain?
Yes, you can practice yoga with back pain provided it is not acute. Many poses are very effective in helping ease back pain. Always consult your yoga teacher before class.

Can I do inversions while pregnant?

Many women who have regularly included inversions in their practice before becoming pregnant wish to continue doing inversions while pregnant. Women should listen to their bodies. If it doesn’t feel good you shouldn’t do it. Generally, is not recommended for women who are not familiar with inversions to start their practice during their pregnancy.

Can I do backbends while pregnant?
As with inversions, if you haven’t been practicing backbends before pregnancy, you should listen to your body and shouldn’t start doing intense backbends while pregnant. Moreover, because there is more weight being put on the spine during pregnancy, especially in the late second and third trimesters, deep back bending is not recommended.

Why can’t I lay flat on my back while pregnant?
After about four or five months of pregnancy, the results of lying on the back for a prolonged period of time (more than a minute) are dizziness and lightheadedness as well as decreased blood flow to baby. The reason for this is that one of the major blood vessels called the vena cava runs along the back. The vena cava is responsible for bringing blood to the heart from the rest of the body. When a pregnant woman lays on her back the weight of her uterus can compress the vena cava, thereby diminishing the blood supply to the heart and to the baby.

What should I wear?
Loose, comfortable clothing that allows the body to move and breathe is required.

Do I need to somehow change my lifestyle habits to start practicing yoga?
No, you do not. Our habits, nutrition, lifestyle, our thoughts, our deeds, needs and dreams are the result of our nature, which sometimes leaves much to be desired. Forbidding ourselves to enjoy something (eating dessert, going out, etc.), is in a way like committing violence against us; a punishment. We need to cooperate with our body and mind to find what suits and serves us best. Doing yoga, is a start to clean our organsand free our intellect through the implementation of asanas and pranayama, thereby eradicating the true causes of any addiction. Yoga practice influences in such a way that after a while a person does not want anymore what was bad for him, such as smoking, overeating, etc. We must begin to practice regularly and life will change accordingly.

When can you eat / drink before and after classes?

You can have a normal meal or a light snack 4 and 2 hours before your practice respectively. After your class you should wait 20-30 minutes before eating something. Consuming food too soon will violate the flow of energy in the body and might also, result in eating more than usual.