We have a wonderful, wide variety of yogis coming into our Hampton & Hawthorn yoga studios. Since we offer so many styles of yoga, including Hot Yoga, Vinyasa Flow, and Yin Yoga, we want to be sure all of our students know how to get the most from their classes.
We get many mums-to-be asking about whether they can attend our classes besides the Online Prenatal Course we created specifically for prenatal students. This post is about all things prenatal, from which classes to take, which classes to avoid, and how to make the practice suit you wherever you go.
Which classes should mums-to-be avoid?
Yoga is fantastic for our bodies and our minds. However, if you’re pregnant and have never done a yoga class before, we don’t consider now the time to jump into a dynamic Power Flow class. Also, we know that mummas run hot! Therefore we suggest prenatal students avoid heavily heated classes. Our Hot classes are heated to 32 degrees, and Flow is 26 degrees. We do not recommend Hot classes for pregnant students.
This brings us to our Yin class- a slow paced, mostly seated, room temperature yoga class. Surprisingly, we also do not recommend Yin for pregnant students as the Relaxin hormone that naturally occurs in pregnant women (to prepare the body for birth) can allow students to stretch beyond their normal capacity leading to instability.
Which classes are “prenatal approved?”
Our best option is our wonderful Online Prenatal Yoga Course. This is lead by one of our senior teachers Emily who offers sequences specifically for expectant mums. This course is safe and recommended for all pregnant students.
If the student is a regular yoga practitioner we offer Slow Flow classes that can be modified and may suit. Our Slow Flow classes do offer inversions and arm balances which we do not advise during pregnancy, however there are some variations for pregnant women to enjoy a Flow a class (more in the paragraph below). This class allows pregnant women as well as long as they feel familiar with yoga and body awareness and make necessary modifications.
Prenatal modifications for general yoga
Our resident Prenatal Yoga Guru (and mum of 2!) Emily shares some general tips for practicing yoga with a bub on board.
- Avoid closed belly twists
- Avoid lying on the belly, particularly after the 1st Trimester
- Gentle backbends are ok, definitely no Full Wheel or Bow Pose. Camel is ok if done gently and hands are supporting the lower back, no reaching for the heels
- Step through transitions, no jerking or jumping
- Keep legs hip width for standing and forward folds, a wider stance may be needed for most standing poses
- DO NOT practice Hot Yoga and avoid overheating in a Flow class. This means regular hydration and resting whenever needed. The student’s ability to keep the breath even is a good indication of whether they’re working too hard
- Be aware of over-stretching, suggest taking the stretch to only 70% and concentrate on engaging and strengthening the legs
- Always leave space for the belly and avoid overstretching the belly area
- Always move mindfully and gently in and out of poses
- A Flow class is really only appropriate for a student who already had an established practice before becoming pregnant. A general class is not appropriate for a prenatal student with no previous yoga experience.
- If a student has had any issues with their pregnancy (pelvic instability, high/low blood pressure) regardless of their yoga experience, they really should be attending a prenatal specific class
- If you’re not sure of an alternative pose as a prenatal student, do a few rounds of Cat/Cow or rest in Childs Pose and focus on the breath- only rejoining the routine when appropriate
- Listen to your body and always err on the side of caution- if it doesn’t feel right don’t do it!
If you have any further questions please feel free to reach out to us via [email protected].
Team Kula x
Our number 1 recommendation for all mums-to-be looking for specific Prenatal Yoga Classes is our wonderful Online Course with resident pregnancy guru Emily. Check out the link, enjoy x