New to Prenatal Yoga? Your Prenatal Yoga Questions Answered

Should I do prenatal yoga if I'm pregnant?

The short answer- YES. See below for prenatal yoga benefits.

Prenatal Yoga Benefits

  • Ease aches and pains: Pregnancy comes with a lot of aches and pains like back pain, SI pain, leg cramps, difficulty breathing, sciatic pain, foot pain. Yoga can help through stretching, mindful movement, and breath work.
  • Connecting the body with the breath. Speaking of breathing, yoga is a great way to get in touch with your breathing. Not only is learning to breathe helpful in everyday life, but it can help you through labor.
  • Strengthening. Most think of yoga as a way to improve flexibility. In fact, it helps strength as much as it helps flexibility, which you really don't need to work on a ton during pregnancy anyways. Yoga helps build a strong core which will improve postpartum recovery.
  • Connecting to baby. Prenatal yoga classes are designed with mom and baby in mind. Prenatal yoga classes can be an rare, un-interrupted time to appreciate everything your body is doing.
  • Meeting others. This is hard during COVID times, but meeting other moms can help to build a supportive community postpartum. This was something I craved after having our baby!

Do I have to do prenatal yoga or can I stick to my regular classes?

Prenatal yoga classes are a great place to start if you are new to yoga during pregnancy, . If you're an experienced yogi, modifying regular classes may work for you. However, prenatal classes will offer specific guidance on prenatal modifications.

How is prenatal yoga different from regular yoga?

One main difference is that everyone in prenatal yoga is pregnant. Prenatal yoga classes are designed with the pregnant body in mind. That means they are tailored to the specific aches and pains most experience during pregnancy. Most prenatal yoga teachers also have specific experience working with pregnant clients and have a good understanding of the pregnant body and how to offer modifications.

When can I start prenatal yoga?

You can start at anytime, however, as most experience a lot of nausea during the first trimester, many choose to start around weeks 12-13. Whenever you start, just listen to your body and be open to modifications or taking a step back.

Can I practice inversions during pregnancy?

This is not a clear-cut answer. The first part of this is that they cannot be safe unless they are already part of your normal yoga practice. If not, pregnancy is not the time to start.

Can I practice hot yoga?

Defer to your physician or midwife for this question. There are risks to overheating for mom and baby during pregnancy. However, if you have an established heated practice, you may want to talk to your doctor about it.

Do I have to stop core exercises during yoga?

Absolutely not. There are so many ways to strengthen the core, that you absolutely do not have to stop core strengthening. Crunches and sit-ups can become obviously uncomfortable. Plus, there are so many other ways to strengthen this area, so why continue sit-ups and crunches at all?

Is it safe to be on my back?

Generally, laying on your back for the first half of pregnancy is safe. After the halfway point, you want to avoid laying on your back all night while sleeping. However, short bouts of laying on your back will be generally safe. However, if you experience any light-headedness, dizziness, nausea, or uneasiness, it's best to get off your back. Modify savasana by laying on your left side with support as needed.

Did you practice yoga during pregnancy? What was your experience?

Any other questions about prenatal yoga?

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