The body changes quite a lot when you are pregnant. Both hormonally and physically. There is a lot of ways that pregnant ladies can be held back from all these change. My aim as a pregnancy yoga teacher, whose background also includes sports massage, nutrition, being a doula and giving birth myself, is to help over come and preferably prevent some of these issues that can arise.
Some of the fundamental aspects of my pregnancy yoga class are:
- Breath work: Through the entire class we breathe in a very specific way that is condusive to a breath that is often effectively used in labour. This is then available as a tool to mothers when in labour if they choose to use it.
- Exercises to loosen the tight muscles in the pelvis: The hormone relaxin is circulates in the pelvic area during pregnancy. One of the aims of this hormone in this area is to relax the ligaments in the pelvis. However, as the pelvis begins to loosen the other muscles will tighten to hold the pelvis as well together as before. This can result in tight muscles. We work to keep these muscles loose during pregnancy.
- Pelvic rotations: These are important for a variety of reasons. It helps free up any tension in the pelvic area, helps create space and movement for the baby if it needs to move, especially if it needs to turn.
- Leg strengthening: As there can often be quite a bit of standing and shuffling about through the labour process, we do standing strengthening to help prepare the legs for this task. During my own labour I found my legs shaking and am now aware of how important this is.
- Restless leg: Legs can get very tired, fluidy and strained during pregnancy, especially in the latter trimesters. We do specific stretches to help move the fluid and release tension in the calves and legs.
- Shoulder stretches: As there is often general strain on the body and back during pregnancy, it is important to also keep the neck and shoulders loose. This also keeps the shoulders loose in preparation for all the baby carrying after birth.
- Lower back stretches: Its very important to keep the back loose as it can be difficult to move, walk and get around, especially in the later stages of pregnancy.
- Hip opening: In general, its very helpful to keep the hips loose and limber in preparation for birth.
- Pelvic Floor: Weekly we practice pelvic floor exercises which are important for birth but in particular for after the birth. It is recommended that women do these daily for a minimum of five minutes for at least 3-6 months post birth
- Guided meditation: Taking time out, getting planned space to connect with the baby in a specific guided and calm environment can be important. We all plan to take time to connect but often we are distracted or busy.
- Sleep: With over fifteen years experience teaching yoga, I hear all the time that people sleep best on the nights that they do yoga. In particular, when pregnant, especially with all the toilet breaks, it can be hard to get a good nights sleep. The stretching, breathing and relaxation can really help mothers to get a well deserved nights rest.
- Any additional info on Birth: As a trained Doula or birthing partner with a wealth of experience, I am more that happy to support mothers in anyway necessary to either understand their process or get ideas in relation to birth.
For class details click here: Pregnancy Yoga ClassesShare