The Do's & Don'ts Of Pregnancy Yoga
I recently studied Pregnancy Yoga with the incredible Uma Dinsmore-Tuli in Stroud, Gloucestershire. If you haven’t read her book Yoni Shakti you need to! Especially if you are women practising yoga. Sometimes yoga forgets the needs of women. Uma’s work reminds us that women were at the beginning of yoga, helped shape it through time and deserve a practise in the modern world of yoga that includes them, each and every hole of them.
I learnt that pregnancy yoga is a beautiful and powerful practise designed to support and empower women both during their pregnancy and labour. Through movement, breath, sound, relaxation and communion with other woman, pregnancy yoga invites women to take time to connect to their baby, their intuition and the intelligence of their body. It is powerful stuff, and I’m so excited to be sharing in at Yoga Home this month.
Below are some important do’s and don’t to help you navigate yoga during your pregnancy and get the most out of your practise during your pregnancy journey.
Do get your doctor’s/midwife’s approval to practise yoga during pregnancy.
Do wait until you are 15 weeks pregnant before practising yoga.
Do find a pregnancy yoga class. If this is not an option find a beginner’s class or a slow paced class.
Do continue to practise if you already have a yoga practise, but slow it down and be prepared to modify or omit completely certain postures. Listen to your body.
Do drink water during class.
Do eat a light snack (eg. fruit) before class and bring a snack for after class.
Do rest if you feel lightheaded, fatigued or whenever you need to during class.
Do move slowly and gently.
Do breathe fully and learn how to exhale completely.
Do support yourself with props, especially when resting.
Do enjoy opening the chest to encourage an easier breath.
Do use yoga to help you focus on yourself and your baby.
Do practise relaxation techniques such as breath practises and sound practises as often as you can.
Do use yogic pelvic floor practises to learn how to identify, tone and release the muscles of the pelvic floor.
Don’t push yourself.
Don’t rush or move fast.
Don’t overstretch. ( Don’t take advantage of increased flexibility during pregnancy ).
Don’t hold your breath or practise any vigorous pumping breaths.
Don’t maintain a lifted pelvic floor for longer than a single breath.
Don’t hold any posture for longer than 5 breaths.
Don’t jump from pose to pose.
Don’t do inversions.
Don’t twist deeply.
Don’t do forward folds if they feel awkward or uncomfortable.
Don’t rest on your front.
Don’t rest on your back after 30 weeks.
Do enjoy your yoga practise!