I was recently contacted by a pregnant woman interested in joining our Pregnancy Yoga Classes. She was confused, as the gym she’s a member of said they didn’t offer Pregnancy Yoga but said she could instead join their regular Yoga Class. “Is Pregnancy Yoga the same as a Yoga class?” she asked. “No” I replied. “I thought so,” she said “as otherwise why would it have a different name?”
Good question !
As a yoga teacher, I teach both Prenatal Yoga Classes and general Yoga Classes. Here are some ways Pregnancy Yoga differs from a general Yoga Class:
During pregnancy greater emphasis is placed on softening and releasing through the birth canal. In a general Yoga Class, this is usually the opposite, the pelvic floor is often held in an engaged position for a long length of time. In Pregnancy Yoga, the pelvic floor is explored in greater detail with practices to help strengthen and tone and also soften and release in preparation for birth. This awareness also assists in the postnatal healing of this area.
Breathing is ‘King’ and key to all aspects of yoga. In Pregnancy Yoga considerable time is dedicated to exploring a variety of different breathing techniques, enabling a woman to discover her own intuitive way to breathe in pregnancy, labour and childbirth.
Pregnancy Yoga explores a variety of sound practices and meditative visualisation techniques. They’re often combined with breathing practices and not something usually offered in a general Yoga Class. The techniques are powerful tools many women use to empower and support them during pregnancy and in labour and birth.
There are a number of physiological changes to a woman’s body in pregnancy. For these reasons Pregnancy Yoga is kept to a slower pace, for example so that blood is not directed away from the placenta (which nourishes baby) to support a rapidly exercising body (particularly in later pregnancy). Pregnancy Yoga posture sequences incorporate different ways to transition from seated to standing and vice versa. As the baby grows, these new techniques enable a pregnant woman to transition more safely and comfortably.
Due to physiological changes, pregnant women may experience a range of common ailments. Pregnancy Yoga takes this into consideration offering yoga postures which are safe to practice until a woman gives birth. There may be a number of yoga postures offered in a general Yoga class which are not suitable for pregnant women.
We also talk. By sharing and listening we support one another. Most importantly, we acknowledge the changes as they’re happening in this special transition of time.
Many yoga teachers are happy to include pregnant women in their general Yoga Class and offer modifications/alternatives to postures which are not suitable for pregnant women. However to my mind, a Pregnancy Yoga Class substantially differs from a general Yoga Class, as it offers additional discussions, practices and techniques specifically designed to support women during pregnancy, labour and the birth of baby.
We’ve had the pleasure of sharing our specialist Pregnancy Yoga Classes with hundred’s of women. Join us today !
Wishing you the very best, Sky
‘I didn’t really have a ‘birth plan’ just some preferences and I wasn’t afraid to use pain relief if I needed to. In the end, I didn’t need to because of all the techniques I learned in Pregnancy Yoga; remaining calm, trusting my instincts and BREATHING were absolutely invaluable and ultimately all I needed. Thank you Sky, your help and knowledge has been fantastic and I’ve learned techniques that I will use again and again, not just in birth.’ Laura, November 2016, Shared here