A Pregnant Woman's guide to attending a General Yoga class

Five things to remember in a general yoga class when your are pregnant

By Suzanne Swan

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If you are already in a routine with your yoga class before you become pregnant, it is not uncommon to want to stay in that class for as long as possible. At Yogababy, our instructors are trained specifically to teach yoga to pregnant women so our classes are quite specialised in that way to cater for your changing body, mind & baby.

However, if you are still attending your general yoga class, here are five things to consider during pregnancy: 

1.    Let the teacher know you are pregnant. Use props (blocks, chair or a wall) to create stability and balance if required. It may be necessary to modify the yoga pose to make space for your growing belly.

2.    Focus more on your strength and stability than on flexibility. The hormone Relaxin loosens your muscles and ligaments which increases the risk for injuries if you push yourself too far in terms of flexibility & endurance. Avoid over extending and holding postures for a long time.

3.    Adjust the yoga postures.  As a general rule, open and lengthen rather compress your belly. Use substitute poses when your teacher instructs inversions, abdominal, deep twists, back bends, lying back or front poses. You can read the yogababy Guidelines for safe yoga poses during pregnancy for more advice and a list of safe yoga poses during pregnancy.

4.    Slow down. You will need time to make adjustments when moving between postures. Do a modified Child or Butterfly pose if unsure.  Remember avoid over-stretching and  holding a pose for a long time, use blocks, chair or wall for support 

5.    You are doing yoga for two. Let the pregnancy change your practice rather than conforming your body to fit the yoga class.  Remember you are strong and capable of practicing yoga during your pregnancy. Listen to your body and be guided by your instincts.  Find a Pregnancy yoga class if the general class no longer feels suitable, or if you are needing pregnancy or birth advice, or you would simply like to meet other pregnant mums. Research has shown that the building of a community is one of the key success factors for wellbeing as a new mother.

Feel free to print out the yogababy guidelines for safe yoga poses during pregnancy from our website. You can read more about our Pregnancy Yoga and Active Birth Yoga classes.