Do you get tired of listening to inquiries about yoga positions during pregnancy? As a teacher it can be difficult to read so much misinformation about yoga. One myth is that you just got pregnant, so it’s safe for any newbie to jump into a class. The fact is: Prospective students should talk to their doctors first. There are still a lot of precautions for women in their first trimester and beyond. Additionally, practicing yoga for years before pregnancy is much different than spending years on a couch. It seems like common sense, but some women believe they have to join a class because they just became pregnant. The first place to start getting proper advice is in their doctor’s office and then, if they are cleared, they can inquire about prenatal classes.
Four Safe Prenatal Yoga Techniques for the First Trimester
There are a variety of safe prenatal yoga techniques for the first trimester of pregnancy. Many prenatal yoga adaptations are designed to accommodate a growing stomach and avoid compression of the uterus. During the first trimester, a woman’s womb is still quite small and is protected by the pelvis, so uterine compression is not really a problem. However, if you feel any discomfort during your yoga practice during your first trimester, always err on the side of caution. Remember that your pregnancy is a precious time to really tune into your own body and follow the kind of practice that feels right for you on any given day.
Deep and Slow Rhythmic Breathing
A wonderful way to begin your yoga routine is with five minutes of deep, slow, and rhythmic breathing. Often, when we are stressed or anxious, our breathing becomes shallow and constricted. Practicing deep, slow, even breaths will help to ease tension and stress during your pregnancy. A simple pranayama technique is to breath in fully for five whole seconds and exhale fully and slowly for five seconds. Do this for five minutes prior to practicing asanas.
Cat and Cow Pose
This technique is wonderful for increasing flexibility of the spine and relaxing the lower back muscles. There should be no forcing or pushing to the limit. Cat and Cow poses also helps to increase renal blood flow, which will support kidney health during your pregnancy. On your knees and hands, slowly breathe in and arch your neck up as you open your throat area. Breathe in as you arch up, as you arch back down, slowly exhale. Repeat five times.
This pose will invigorate you and strengthen your body and spirit. Stand on your mat, open your legs a comfortable distance, approximately three to four feet apart, bend your right knee with your left foot angled out to a ninety degree angle. Your arms are outstretched parallel to the floor. Your gaze is over the middle finger of your right hand. Your bent knee stays above right foot. Hold the pose for three to ten breaths, or as long as you are