Practicing While Pregnant

Yoga while Pregnant

Yoga is completely safe to do while pregnant IF you listen to your body. If you’re like me you’ll want to give everything you’ve got, but to be honest, there came I time when I discovered that I had to modify my practice to help my body enjoy my yoga. In my own practice, while pregnant, I used props heavily, so please practice at 75% of your usual activity and only do what feels good on a daily basis. Here’s a good rule of thumb: If it feels like too much it probably is.

Be Free to Modify

Modifications in yoga are not only for beginners, they preserve and sustain your body as it is changing to welcome a new life. Some days you may feel the fire of a “full on” workout beckoning you, however remember you are pregnant so on most days a “soft” practice will serve you best. Be a smart yogi, not a sore one! Make modifications your friend.

Props Props Props!!

I included props in the program because they are an essential part of yoga practice while pregnant. I do not recommend practicing without them. I have made suggestion on how and where to use props but give yourself permission to experiment even more deeply with them. If you have a resistance to using props, pregnancy is the perfect time to give them another look, incorporate them into your practice and fall in love with them. Remember, props are your great ally while pregnant. After all, they are supporting your baby and you at the same time!

Stretch safely

While pregnant your body is producing a hormone called relaxin that is preparing your body to open for labor. You may feel it’s effects in your SI joint and the front of your pubic bone. So approach your stretches with caution, as overdoing it can make things worse. If you do feel instability in your SI and pelvic area practice your forward folds at 50% with props. Never go so far in a stretch that you put pressure on your belly, if your belly touches the floor then you’ve gone too far.

Downward Dog might be a No-No!

You should avoid Downward Dog altogether when pregnant if you have high blood pressure, hypertension, polyhydramnios (excessive amniotic fluid,) or if you have been diagnosed with preeclampsia or are at risk for preeclampsia. If downward dog does not feel good to you simply practice child’s pose or table pose instead

Pelvic Girdle Pain

Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) or Pubic Symphysis Dysfunction (PSD) is an uncomfortable and sometimes painful condition for pregnant women. The hormone Relaxin can create instability in the pelvic joints and cause some serious pain. If you are experiencing this, you do not have to tough it out! Find a physical or yoga therapist who can help you find relief with stabilization exercises and pelvic floor balancing. W.H.Y. prenatal flow has forward bends and hip openers that is not the recommended for you if you are suffering from PGP.

How to use the Dvd

Watch the introduction

It will teach you how to “flow” while pregnant. Watch it as many times as you need to be sure that you understand your different options. Once you have watched the whole intro and you want to review the “How to Flow while pregnant” section, skip forward one chapter and go straight to it. Note- Flow 3 is not for everyone! Only use flow this way if you are already familiar with it’s demands and it feels good today!

Use this program as a tool

This offering is designed to serve you on a day-to-day basis. Choose how long you want to practice, select the program (with music or without,) decide how you want to flow, and then go for it! If a certain section isn’t appealing on any given day, skip to the next chapter. You are pregnant and are allowed to pick and choose! Please do not skip the last resting pose though. Savasana (or your variation) brings real relaxation at the end of your practice and is the only pose that is required!!

Use the clock

For sections that require a bit of endurance a clock will appear in the lower part of the screen. It is there so that you know how to pace yourself, push yourself, and honor your body. Remember you are learning how to practice in a whole new way, so be patient with yourself and you and your baby will be grateful in the long run.

With music or without

This prenatal flow program has a unique and upbeat musical score produced by Dr. Luke and Cirkuit. It is designed to inspire and motivate you. If you prefer to practice without music or to your own playlist select the program of your choice in the “extras” section.

Meditate

The ten minute meditation is designed to prepare you mentally for labor and delivery. Practice it once a day after your yoga or in place of it. To do the ten minute meditation select the meditation in the “extras” section and get comfortable. Sit on a blanket, lean against a wall, sit in a chair, or use pillows. If you are short on time you can modify it and do any part of the three section meditation that serves you. Meditation is an important part of your practice as the stimulating asanas as it helps train your mind to find a place of calm focus that will serve you as your bring your new baby into the world. So get busy and do nothing for a while!

Prenatal Yoga Modification Basics

 

Okay, so here’s the deal. Before you begin or continue any exercise during pregnancy, check with your doctor. I know you hear that at the beginning of every exercise program, but it really is important. Your body is going to undergo some serious change in these next nine months and you want to discover everything you can about things that might keep your yoga practice from going full steam ahead. So see your physician and tell him/her about this amazing yoga practice that you are about to embark on and honestly seek their advice.

 

Here are some of the things I learned in my last pregnancy and hope will be a blessing to you!

First Trimester
  • Practice as much as you are able! If nausea and tiredness show up on any give day, recognize them as signs that your baby needs lots of attention today, love yourself and be confident that your second trimester will be different!
  • If you pike or jump, skip it for now and just step forward and back
  • Stop twisting. I stopped as soon as I confirmed I was pregnant. Twisting is detoxifying and It can stop proper circulation to the fetus if you twist to extremes. Open twists are safe.
  • Skip shoulder stands. Keep your heart and lungs open instead.
  • No need for “breath of fire” or any breath work besides long deep ujaii breath. You and your baby need the oxygen and it brings an incredible sense of relaxation and well-being.
Second Trimester
  • Stop abdominal work. Yay! Your core needs to expand now so enjoy laying off the crunches.
  • Once the baby’s head is down you want to keep it there, so skip inversions unless of course you are encouraging your baby to turn.
  • Gentle stretching feels so good right now because a hormone called relaxin has kicked in encouraging your body to open and make room for passage of the baby. But be careful not to overdue it, the last thing you want is to have something pulled for labor and delivery.
Third Trimester
  • Skip the deep back bends. You could accidentally disconnect your placenta from the uterine wall. Remember, after your beautiful baby is born your whole yoga practice will embrace you with open arms…for now, love-love-love!
  • Remember that it is your responsibility to protect yourself through out your pregnancy. We want healthy mommies and healthy babies so if you have a competitive drive or a desire to be perfect now is the time to enjoy letting that go. What matters most is that you show up on your mat and breathe.

watch & grow