Choosing pregnancy yoga
There's lots of adjust to when you find out you're pregnant, whether it was planned or a surprise; nausea, emotions, lots of things to talk about with your partner, close friends and family. You may have not felt up to your normal exercise routine although it's generally fine to continue with it to keep you fit during pregnancy.
Lot of women find pregnancy yoga classes helpful as their bodies change, it can offer a space that's just for them to connect with their bodies and babies as well as other women who are going through the same thing as them. You can find out more about the benefits of pregnancy yoga here.
So when should you start?
Most pregnancy yoga classes suggest you begin after 12-16 weeks, once you've passed the 1st trimester, are feeling more active and experiencing less morning sickness. It's best to chat with your midwife or GP before coming to any new exercise class, your teacher will ask if you have the OK from them so give them a call or ask when you go to your next antenatal appointment. They will let you know if they have any concerns about doing yoga. Some classes have a waiting list to join, so do contact the yoga teacher too. It's normally fine to join if you have no experience of yoga. The classes are designed for pregnancy and should be nourishing, strengthening and simple.
I already practice yoga
If you already have an established yoga practice then chat to your teacher and listen to your body to work out what is best for you. The NHS suggests avoiding lying flat on your back for long periods of time (especially after 16 weeks), not doing so much that you exhaust yourself and avoid activities with a risk of falling. Things may differ from day to day as your body and hormones change, so take the opportunity to really sense your body, notice dizziness and changes to your center of gravity.
My yoga teacher says I can't continue classes with them
Often this is because they aren't trained or familiar with pregnancy. Although guidelines recommend continuing with you current exercise, teachers (or their insurers) may not feel comfortable with you being in class. That can be a bit of a blow, especially if you're feeling good. If you have a strong yoga practice you might find pregnancy yoga a bit slow and soft, especially if you're into Ashtanga, Vinyasa or Iyengar yoga. That said, slowing down may be just what you need in order to release and prepare for birth.
Personally I am happy to welcome women to my motherslove pregnancy classes when they are ready. For some that is in the first trimester, for others it's not until they are on maternity leave and counting down to birth. If you have any questions feel free to get in touch.
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