It’s great that your starting prenatal yoga. Practising yoga has so many benefits and practising while pregnant, can help alleviate many of the common discomforts that come up during pregnancy.
Our prenatal yoga classes at Padma Yogi are open to beginners and those with a prior yoga practice. Our classes are also safe for all trimesters.
What is prenatal yoga ?
Yoga is a form of exercise that combines breath-work with movement. Yoga helps connect the mind and body. Prenatal yoga focuses on yoga poses that specifically designed for pregnant bodies.
How is prenatal yoga different from regular yoga?
Regular yoga may include poses that your supine (lying on your back) or prone (lying on your stomach) which want to be avoided during pregnancy. Yoga poses taught in non-prenatal classes may also include deep twists, abdominal exercises and inversions. Prenatal yoga focuses on the changing body and growing baby and accommodates these changes. Hormones during pregnancy can cause joints, ligaments and muscles to be more relaxed and can cause discomfort in certain areas if stretched too far. A prenatal yoga teacher will also know how to modify poses for each trimester.
When can I begin prenatal yoga?
You are welcome to join classes at any stage in your pregnancy. Some students join during the first trimester, others second or even third. If you have a history of miscarriage, we recommend that you don’t start your practice until the week of previous miscarriage has past or your care provider’s recommendation.
The most important thing is to listen to your body.
I’ve never done yoga before; can I still do prenatal yoga?
Many of our students at Padma Yogi have never done yoga before and start yoga during their pregnancy. We always recommend to follow any guidelines that your healthcare provider has given. The classes are designed for pregnant women and can help prepare your mind and body for childbirth.
I’m taking yoga classes that aren’t prenatal, is that okay?
Yes, you can continue your exercise regime. You’ll want to make sure that you let the instructor know you are pregnant. Poses you will want to avoid involve lying on your front, lying on your back for long periods of time, deep twists and anything that doesn’t feel good in your body or makes you dizzy or nausea.
What are the benefits of prenatal yoga?
Yoga has many benefits that are felt not only in the body but in the mind.
Practising yoga while pregnant can help with the following:
- Relief from common pregnancy discomforts
Prenatal yoga can help alleviate back aches and pains, constipation, swelling, fatigue and pelvic discomforts.
- Lower blood pressure
Studies have shown that after a prenatal yoga class, women have a lower heart rate and lower blood pressure. Walking also has similar results.
- Better sleep
Sleep is often disturbed during pregnancy and it’s not always because of the growing belly. Perhaps you’re a back sleeper or stomach sleeper and neither are recommended during pregnancy. You may also be having to get up more throughout to the night to use the washroom. Prenatal yoga can help prepare the body and mind for a good night’s sleep.
Our Tuesday and Thursday night classes are perfect to help with your sleep. We focus on a few more restorative postures to prepare for sleep. Your first class is free for all new students.
- Reduced risk of preterm labour and other complications
High stress levels have been shown to increase miscarriage and preterm birth rates, and yoga is a great stress-reducer. In one study of 335 pregnant women, half the women did yoga — including breathing exercises, posture positions and meditation — for one hour a day, while the other half of the women walked for 30 minutes twice a day. Though both groups spent the same amount of time active, the yoga group had a lower preterm labour rate as well as lower risk of pregnancy-reduced hypertension.
- Improve your mood
Prenatal yoga has been shown to reduce depression in moms to be. Yoga for expectant mothers helps destress the mind and release tensions in the body. You also learn different breath techniques to help calm you during stressful situations, including childbirth.
How often can I take classes?
The 2019 guidelines from CSEP recommends pregnant persons should accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week over a minimum of three days per week. Our prenatal yoga classes are one way to get exercise in. You are welcome to attend all three classes a week or just one.
What can I expect to do in a prenatal yoga class?
Here at Padma Yogi we always include the following in our prenatal yoga classes:
- Breathe work
- Warm up – preparing your joints for the movements to come
- Standing postures including modified sun salutations, warrior sequence and balancing
- Longer held poses focus on opening the back, shoulders and pelvis
- Final relaxation including yoga nidra
We do like to mix up the classes, so you never get bored. Expect to always start with a warm up and end with a cool down and at least 10 minutes of final relaxation.
What are signs that I should stop practicing yoga?
Always listen to your body but if you experience any of the following, you’ll want to stop your prenatal yoga practise and seek guidance from your healthcare provider.
- Dizziness, shortness of breath or feeling light headed
- Blurred vision
- Sharp pains in the pelvis or abdomen that don’t go away
- Blood leaking from the vagina
- If you just don’t feel right
I’ve developed or have a complication; can I still practice yoga while pregnant?
Yes, please let Melissa know and she will ensure that your practice is safe and may offer modification to poses based on the complication or condition.
I already know that I want an epidural, how can prenatal yoga help me prepare for labour?
During our prenatal yoga classes, you will learn techniques including poses, massage and breathing exercises that can help you manage contractions until you receive your desired medication. Prenatal yoga class help you get into a parasympathetic nervous system state.
Can my partner attend with me?
Our drop in prenatal yoga classes are just for those expecting to attend. From time to time we offer partner yoga. Please contact us for more information.