Pregnancy is one of the most exciting times for a woman. If you are a yoga lover and practice on a regular schedule then a healthy pregnancy should not keep you from continuing your yoga practice. There are some basic things to be aware of BUT always remember to listen to your body. Yoga teacher training will help guide you and your instructor down a safe road without causing complications to the baby or mother.
If you are fairly new to Ashtanga Yoga start out with enrolling in a more gentle yoga class or only practice under the watchful eye of a trainer with yoga certification and experience with pregnancy. The pregnant Ashtanga yoga lover can continue within limits and with modifications to protect the growing baby and placenta in the body. If at any time you start to have trouble with cramps or bleeding stop at once and see your physician. When continuing with yoga through your pregnancy practice like your stomach is bigger than it actually is. Modify your yoga during pregnancy with a yoga teacher.
First Trimester & Yoga
Yoga teacher training will help instructors with their students that are pregnant. Many women are advised not to practice at all during their first trimester especially if your pregnancy is high risk or you have suffered from a previous miscarriage. Always take a very conservative approach to your yoga practice when you find out a pregnancy is involved.
Second Trimester & Yoga
During this time you may be experiencing some morning sickness. It may be easier to avoid continuing with your yoga practice until you are passed this period but, if your morning sickness is not too severe and you feel healthy enough to continue do so. Make sure not to practice on an empty stomach and drink small amounts of water throughout your exercise session to avoid dehydrating and causing uterine contractions. During yoga teaching an instructor should be aware of how you are feeling. Make sure the room where you practice is not too warm and try to avoid working up a big sweat.
Yoga teacher training will help create modifications through your poses: no jumping or rolling. You can crawl or step instead. If you have a smaller frame eliminate your jumping earlier because your frame may not have enough cushion for your uterus to not feel the impact as someone with a larger frame.
During yoga teacher training the discussion is always greater on what poses to allow and which to avoid during pregnancy and at what stages.
Sun Salutation A- While in the forward-bending movement, keep your chest at least 85 degrees off the floor while placing your hands in front of the feet instead of being aligned with them. Step instead of jumping! As your pregnancy moves forward and your body and belly needs the extra space you can begin the sequence with your feet hip-width apart before bending forward.
Sun Salutation B-As you step forward from downward dog into your lunge, allow the back heel of the back foot to come off the floor while keeping the ball of your foot down. This will help avoid compressing of the belly area. From this point forward your hands will have to carry more of the weight. Once you have you foot planted and you are in the lunge position put your back heel down on the floor at the normal 85 degree angle to front foot while keeping the back leg and back foot firm and active. Begin the sequence with your feet hip-width apart when space is needed.
Third Trimester & Yoga
Yoga teacher training will help guide you through this wonderful experience. As your pregnancy comes to the end and baby grows your teacher will guide you and modify more poses as your belly grows. During this last stage of your pregnancy continue with modifying your poses so that you are not straining your joints. Talk to your instructor to make sure you are still getting an energy flow through your body without causing harm to baby. If at any time something does not feel right or if you have trouble with a certain pose-stop! Every pregnancy is different.
Things to AVOID
Yoga teacher training will tell us that there are some things we just cannot do during pregnancy. Avoid whatever it is that causes harm. Omit all extreme twists during your yoga exercise because it can lead to placenta abruption. Do not continue with poses that press your heel into the uterus area while sitting or folding. Stop doing poses on your belly or that would compress the belly area. Try to avoid any poses that have you on your back because this can reduce the blood flow to your uterus.