What To Expect In A Prenatal Yoga Class

Here is a list of typical queries that pop in the minds of expecting moms before they join a prenatal class.

I have just discovered that I am pregnant. Can I join a prenatal yoga class?

Pregnant women are advised not to take up new exercise routines up to 12 weeks. However, if you have been consistently practicing some form of yoga before pregnancy, then prenatal yoga is recommended. The licensed prenatal yoga instructor will take you through a steady sequence of poses – without any strenuous exercise – and direct you to focus mainly on breathing and centering.

What kind of clothing should I wear?

Loose comfortable exercise clothing like yoga pants and a t-shirt are preferred because they enable you to transition smoothly through poses – like switching from standing to seated poses.

What should I carry to the yoga class?

A bottle of water would be the first on the list; sipping on water intermittently and staying hydrated is highly encouraged.

The next item is a yoga mat; you can either get your own or rent it from the center. The same goes with

a towel.

Props like bolsters, blankets, straps, etc. are usually available at the center. In a private yoga class, a firm cushion and fleece blankets can be used to assist with variations, if required.

I am very uncomfortable in a hot room. Is it a sweaty practice?

Prenatal yoga is practiced in a comfortably cool and well-ventilated room. Hot yoga is not recommended during pregnancy.

Can I have a light snack before the class because I feel hungry all the time?

You can undoubtedly have a light snack like a fruit or juice an hour before the class; however, a minimum of a 2-hour break is ideal following a heavy meal.

You can enjoy your desired meal half an hour following the class.

I have practiced various forms of yoga before pregnancy. Can I inculcate them in my home practice?

If you plan to practice on your own, then get a trained prenatal instructor to educate you with modifications to avoid any harm. Many poses like closed twists, bending through the spine or folding forward, core strengtheners, the lying on the belly like a boat pose, Marichyasana, the

plow pose, the locust pose, etc. are contraindicated, whereas the pigeon pose, the bridge pose, etc. are modified to gain benefits without any risks.

I have never done yoga before. Can I start prenatal yoga at any stage? What if I can’t do a particular pose?

Previous experience with yoga or yoga expertise is not an essential criterion for benefiting from prenatal yoga. A newcomer is welcome at any stage, provided her healthcare provider has given her a go-ahead signal for exercising and staying active.

You are encouraged to accept and respect the limitations of your body. Your prenatal instructor will never force you or encourage you to physically go deeper into a pose, twist, or bind.

It’s all about you and your comfort!

I am trying some poses by myself at home while watching videos. I feel like I have become more flexible. Is this possible?

The levels of the hormone relaxin increase during pregnancy to prepare you for delivery; the hormone acts on the musculoskeletal system making joints and ligaments hypermobile and flexible. Pushing yourself deep into any posture is not recommended as the

increased flexibility might result in an injury.

Should I get a private session so I gain more expertise and get well acquainted?

A group session starts with centering and a sharing circle wherein everyone shares their stage of pregnancy (weeks or trimester of pregnancy), experiences, and aches or pain, if any. This gives a head start to the group session because you briefly get to know your fellow to-be-moms.

In a private session, you get individual attention based on your stage of pregnancy and requirements; nonetheless, the group setting caters to your stage of pregnancy as the instructor specifies any modifications required depending on your trimester throughout the sessions.

How often should I practice yoga in a week?

How often you practice prenatal yoga completely depends on you and your lifestyle when you’re pregnant. Every alternate day is fine. However, if you are active at home and office and with your toddlers, then 2 classes per week should be fine. Centering, focused breathing, and Kegel exercises can be practiced on a daily basis.

What if I feel pain or start bleeding during the class?

Prenatal yoga is a

lighter form of exercise. Moreover, you are also informed during the class to take a break and listen to your body if something doesn’t seem right.

Inform the instructor to ensure immediate healthcare assistance for your safety and the safety of the baby in case of any symptoms.

I haven’t been able to sleep well ever since I got pregnant. Will practicing yoga help me get a good night’s sleep?

Studies show that yoga alleviates anxiety, relaxes the body, and helps you unwind and fall asleep.

However, insomnia could also have a pathological origin and could be due to hypertension, depression, etc. Consult your healthcare practitioner for long-term issues.

How long can I continue the practice during pregnancy?

If you are comfortable, you can practice prenatal yoga till your delivery day at home. A study reveals that the poses actually ease delivery. Some poses like the squatting pose assist in bearing down during labor, whereas deep breathing and visualization result in a high threshold for pain and relieve anxiety.

Enjoy a safe and happy pregnancy!