Warrior Wednesday: Prenatal Yoga

Today I went to a prenatal class with Elizabeth from YTT. We started by introducing ourselves: name, how far along we are, and how we are feeling. Obviously I’m not pregnant but it was cool to be introduced at the beginning of class to know who is on your neighboring mat and know what they might be going through. Women in that class were all over the place from 7wks along to 38 weeks, from feeling fantastic to being nauseas morning noon and night, and all different size bellys. The girl behind me was the cutest! She had a huge belly and was pretty far along but she felt great, she looked beautiful and she was literally the essence of a glowing pregnant woman.

The practice was a lot different than I thought it would be! I thought we’d do a lot more floor work, less strength work, with modifications for everything. It wasn’t like that at all! There weren’t many modifications given at all; I guess because it’s a class focused on prenatal so you only use what you know pregnant woman can/should physically do. We did a lot more standing and strengthening work than I expected and a lot less floor work. We also twisted which I still don’t think is correct.

Some things I learned: lots of hip openers, balance work is great along with tucking that tailbone. Most women aren’t used to the additional weight & to compensate they arch in the lower back. Working on tucking the tailbone is really important because it takes out the curve in the lower spine and releases the pain in that region of the body. Other poses that are really helpful are tree pose, frog pose and yogi squat. One modification I heard over and over was to keep feet hips distance or toes together but wherever they choose to be to make sure they felt steady and grounded.

The teacher was good, she’s a mom so she can relate to her students, and their pains and fears. She has a very soothing and soft voice that has a calming effect. During shavasana she used lavender and applied pressure to everyone’s shoulders and necks. I can’t really say since I’ve never been pregnant but I’m not sure I’d want someone touching me when I’m hot, sweaty and pregnant. I did find myself wondering when she was going to get to me rather than focusing on my breath. The teacher also had a hard time with her lefts and rights, she was constantly messing them up which took away from my practice because I was always wondering what leg I should be on.

A few questions:

How many of the women practicing were yogis before they were pregnant and how do they feel during their pregnancy compared to those who only started yoga during their pregnancy?

Wouldn’t it be useful to do a lot of pranayama during a prenatal class, like an asana lamaz mix? We did quickly touch on that you should have the same length inhale as exhale but I’d think most breathing techniques would be helpful .