This is an absolutely essential question and the answer is yes – yoga is safe as long as it’s taught and practiced correctly. The reason why your health practitioner will recommend prenatal yoga rather than just sending a pregnant woman along to a yoga class is that there are yoga postures and techniques which are contraindicated (unsafe) in pregnancy. These poses include most inversions (turning the body upside down); twists – when practiced in a ‘closed’ fashion and all prone (lying on belly) poses. There are some yogic techniques such as breathing techniques which are highly unsuitable for pregnancy as well. Unless your regular yoga teacher has studied prenatal yoga it is highly unlikely that he or she will; Know [...]
Yoga postures and skills lend themselves perfectly during labor. There are poses to help open the body, poses to work through contractions for all three stages stage of birth, poses to help you work with breach. You may have a hard and fast delivery or a longer and slower one. There are advantages to both. Either way, there are labor poses to suit. You may fall in love with one or you may want to change it up. The poses are deliberately simple and easy to remember. In childbirth, your breath is your best friend, particularly your exhalation or out- breath. Simple breathing and sound techniques routinely practiced before and during labor can mean the difference between tearing whilst giving [...]
Many of the common discomforts in pregnancy can be relieved by specific yoga postures to alleviate pressure on the particular part of the body and strengthening the surrounding muscles. There are many issues that you can come against in pregnancy, but bear in mind you may be lucky and breeze through. Below are merely the usual suspects and even with a dream pregnancy, you’ll probably encounter one or two. Back pain and Sciatica Yoga can help relieve these pains by practicing correct postural alignment – this will change from week to week. There are fantastic poses in yoga to alleviate particularly lower back pain – they are simple and easy to practice. They can also help you prevent or reduce [...]
In my many years of teaching pre and post-natal yoga, I have come across many and varied issues related to pre and post birth. Unfortunately, a very common issue relates to our pelvic floor. Your pelvic floor consists of interwoven muscles that link the base of your spine and the front of your pelvis – like a supportive hammock. If these muscles are weakened you can find yourself leaking urine when you cough, sneeze or even laugh. Whilst it’s nothing to be embarrassed about, it’s incredibly common and something we all wish to avoid. Therefore, it’s vital that all pregnant women practise their pelvic floor exercises (Kegels). Pregnancy and birth place undue pressure on your pelvic floor. Pregnancy increases the [...]
It depends entirely on the complication in question. There are modified postures in the YogaYin Premium Video Series for the most common issues. If, however, your issue falls outside these, please contact me or your teacher, and ask for guidance.
Our lives are so busy these days, but I would encourage you to take the time to really develop a bond with your baby. It will be invaluable after birth. The best postures for a very short prenatal practice are cat/cow pose - to warm up and stretch your spine and sun salutations – modified for pregnancy and including downward dog (which can be practiced up to 35 weeks and balances the hormonal system). Sun salutations work with every muscle in the body. Be sure to always practice a relaxation – Savasana – after the poses. That is essential. In fact, if you only have time to do one thing, practice Savasana. You will feel so much better for it.
It is. In fact, a lot of my students have been introduced to yoga through their pregnancy. The benefits are so huge that they continue after the baby is born, with mums and bubs yoga, and later with dynamic flow yoga. Prenatal yoga is gentle and the postures can be modified for your experience level. It’s a great way to start!
Yoga can help with morning sickness, improving your fitness, muscle tone and flexibility. It is fantastic for coping with the hormonal and emotional changes of pregnancy, dealing with stress and developing a bond with your baby. It’s also wonderful for labour, birth and postnatal recovery.
This is highly individual. For some women, it is enough to practice once a week, for others it feels better to practice more often. It will depend on what you are practicing. If it’s yoga postures - then every second day is the limit. You need to give your body a break. If its meditation or relaxation, then you can practice as often as you wish.
There are certain positions and breathing techniques we explore in yoga that are optimal for labour and birth. Whilst they can’t guarantee you a natural birth, they will certainly help you minimise and relieve the pain of labour. It is best to practise these techniques regularly up until your due date, so they become quite natural to you in labour.