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 comfortable. Release and repeat on the other side.
Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle, Butterfly, or Cobbler Pose)
This is a seated asana that can be relaxing and eases tension within the hips and lower back. Sit on your mat, legs extended. As you breathe in, bring your feet towards you and bring the soles of your feet together. Hold for three to ten breaths or however long feels right to you on any given day.
Please note: It is highly advisable to watch a good quality prenatal yoga DVD for visual support. If you are new to yoga, and you are able to attend prenatal classes at a professional yoga studio, that would be the best way to learn how to do safe prenatal poses at any stage of your pregnancy.
Why and Who Should Teach Prenatal Yoga?
Prenatal classes are not for every teacher. Perhaps, as a yoga instructor, it could be frustrating not to be able to teach all the poses you want to and teach the full spectrum of yoga you are so used to in a typical class. However, offering prenatal yoga classes is beneficial to the community. Not only is it good practice, it’s good for you as well and you learn compassion. It can change your day-to-day routine and it can elicit an entirely new set of clients who might just come back to your regular classes once their prenatal days are behind them. Additionally, it may teach you patience, lovingkindness, and tolerance. Some teachers need to learn deeper lessons about humility and patience when working with people who may not be natural athletes.
The Benefits of Prenatal Yoga
One of the primary reasons instructors should offer prenatal classes is the number of benefits prenatal yoga can offer expectant mothers. With the inability to perform every physical activity they once could perform many healthy moms-to-be want to practice yogic techniques for their health. Offering a class for them is going to open up a new range of business for you.
Prenatal yoga is a restorative style that removes the potentially harmful poses for pregnant women. It provides them with the ability to relax their bodies while practicing, stretch their muscles in preparation for birth, and helps them maintain a healthy weight throughout pregnancy. Prenatal yoga helps mothers-to-be relax and control their emotions, it provides a time in which they can focus on the benefits of relaxation, and it can eliminate or reduce the level of stress they feel throughout pregnancy.
How Prenatal Yoga Will Affect Your Business
Offering prenatal yoga classes as an instructor means more students for you. It means helping more people, reaching a different group of women, and forming deeper relationships. The more you have to offer as an instructor, the more you have to offer to the world. Yoga isn’t just about helping others get in shape and rejuvenate their minds; it’s about changing and improving lives. The positive aspects of prenatal classes are too constructive to ignore. By offering these classes in your studio, you provide women the opportunity to experience a healthier pregnancy, an easier birth, and increased life skills.
© Copyright 2010 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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