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I get many important questions from my students when starting a prenatal yoga course. I wanted to share these questions in hopes they can be useful for others thinking of joining a prenatal yoga class. Here are a few questions I am frequently asked:
Q1: When can I start with a prenatal yoga practice?
Ultimately it is up to how you feel in your body, in combination with what your doctor recommends. My recommendation to most women – everyone is different – is to begin a prenatal practice in their second trimester and continue with the practice up until birth. The reason is many women find the most energy and motivation during this “golden” trimester. Those who practiced yoga before becoming pregnant can continue to practice during their first trimester, with some modifications, and overall listening to their bodies.
Q2: What can I expect in a prenatal course?
Every course is different! In my courses I focus on slow, mindful movements, combining postures which build strength and stamina in the body, with gentle physical stretches to release common ailments experienced during pregnancy in the shoulders, back and hips. The class is intertwined with breath awareness and meditation to work both on the physical, but also connect to your inward strength. We spend time on affirmations during the practice, and on releasing mental tensions with meditation and relaxation techniques. Building this connection to empower yourself as a woman, to discover how strong you truly are, and to trust in your body.
Q3. I have no prior experience with yoga – are prenatal classes OK for me?
Yes! Of course, it is important to find a teacher and style of class that is right for you, but generally women can receive a great benefit from a prenatal practice. Being pregnant and preparing for the changes of becoming a mother, is an exciting time for any woman, but also a busy and sometimes overwhelming period. A prenatal practice gives you the time to connect to your body and breath, to the present moment, and to Baby. The movements and postures in a prenatal class are designed with a pregnant body in mind and can help build strength and stamina to prepare for birth, improve circulation and help relax the body and mind. A prenatal practice not only focuses on the physical movements, but also on the mental aspects – with meditation, mindfulness and affirmations in focus – to calm and connect the mind and body. The classes are designed for all levels and ages, no matter if you have previous yoga experience.
Happy practicing yogis!