Yoga in all its variant forms whether dynamic or restorative have certain poses that just doesn’t complement a pregnant body. Poses such as back bends, deep twists, lying on your back are contraindicated in pregnancy. Any poses that put pressure on the abdominal muscles, such as wheel or bow pose, can contribute to abdominal muscle issues after the birth and obviously your belly will be growing making these poses uncomfortable anyway. Postures that involve lying on your back something as simple as shavasana, especially later on in pregnancy, are best avoided as this can reduce blood flow to the womb. Even breathing practices such as breath retention and kapalabhati are best avoided too.
Your body is just simply different, it may not look different in the early days, but it is. Your body is softening to accommodate your growing baby, with the help of a hormone called relaxin. This hormone softens the joints and the ligaments that has its own purpose in pregnancy however this can make you more susceptible to overstretching and injury so it is wise to consider the changes your body is going through and adjust whatever exercise regime you might be carrying out.
And this is why we have pregnancy yoga, phew !
Being pregnant doesn’t mean that you have to wrap yourself up in cotton wool, and you might be pleased to know that your body can still enjoy movement through appropriate or modified yoga postures for pregnancy.
Regular practice helps to deepen your understanding of the power of your body, strengthens your birthing muscles which all helps to encourage a healthy conscious birth.
Pregnancy yoga is not all about movement though, it is also about learning to soften and listen to your body, and creating connection and intention for a healthy and radiant pregnancy by simply finding space for yourself in your week to connect to your breath and your body. This connection to your breath and the breathing techniques taught in the class can help you to ride the waves of labour and to stay calm cool and collected when feeling overwhelmed. Feeling relaxed, in tune with your body, and finding the power of your own voice cultivates the optimal conditions for labour to move along with more ease and awareness.
And finally the best part of pregnancy yoga is the community that is cultivated amongst women all sharing a very special journey together. A time for women to connect and talk about what is on their minds, the practicalities of birth, how they feel, their fears, worries and hopes. So you can feel supported and empowered.