Teaching my prenatal yoga class every Sunday is one of the highlights of my week! I love getting to watch the students grow, change and then eventually make the transition from woman to mother. It's inspiring and fun, and truly a joy for me.
If you are pregnant or planning to be pregnant, here are some things to keep in mind when preparing to join us for class:
(note: I love that my prenatal yoga class has always been open to all! If a baby is on the way but not necessarily in the womb, this class is for you too! Adoptive parents, parents and their surrogate, people going through the IVF process, supportive partners, and even sisters and grandparents are all welcome to join us. My class is every Sunday at 11am at Inner Evolution Yoga in Redlands CA)
- Many of my students in a prenatal class are there because it was either recommended to them by their doctor, or they are looking for a safe way to move their body. Rarely do I get a seasoned yogi with a strong practice, but it does happen! What I am trying to get at is that I have all levels and experiences in this one class, so you will fit right in! If you are brand new~ don't be intimidated, you are not the only one. And if you still want to keep your strong practice, welcome! You will fit right in.
- How do I cater to so many levels and experiences? Modification! I offer alternative poses and easier or harder variations all throughout class to meet everyone's needs and body. I can give instruction on this, but ultimately it is up to YOU to listen carefully to your body and simply do the thing that makes the most sense to you.
- Do not expect to be able to move like a non-pregnant person... I know. This seems so incredibly obvious, but sometimes the quick changes that happen in our bodies can take us by surprise. You will find yourself thinking, "Wait, what? But I can always touch my toes here!" or you will want to take that extra chaturanga, and find that the fatigue you experience after class just isn't worth it. I hear often that pregnant women aren't broken or weak, and I agree! My class has the potential to be a very strong class for those of you who want it. BUT, you are pregnant. And while you may not be weak, there are changes happening daily that will throw you off your balance (literally) and that is the perfect place to be in to practice some real internal yoga. Be okay with backing off, doing the easiest version of a pose, pausing to breathe... lessons you may find useful during motherhood as well.
- Listen to your body and intuition. In most yoga classes you are instructed to find stillness in a pose. I ask you to do the exact opposite. Have you ever watched a woman giving birth? Often her eyes are closed, she's moaning, breathing, and rolling her body, almost looking like she's in a trance. Do you know why? Because it feels good! I want you to have the same internal dialogue with your body, and I hope to create a space where you feel free to drop your inhibitions and move freely.
- Similar to the above, listen, listen, listen and move with intention to avoid injury. We want a sustainable practice that builds strength, creates space and benefits you throughout your pregnancy and beyond. If you push into a pose and hurt your knee... well, that's definitely not going to serve you now or after your little one is born.
- When we are pregnant sometimes we find we've developed an aversion to physical contact. There's a deep, instinctual voice that feels protective of our body and our space, and having someone in your space creates more tension than happy feels. I almost never give adjustments in class to "correct" a posture unless I am fearing for someone's safety, simply because I want you to stay in the realm of "feel good" vs being concerned about looking like a yoga model. However, sometimes I will give adjustments that are meant to feel good, or push on a pressure point to release tension. If you know you do not want to be touched during class or in savasana, feel free to tell me before class begins, or stop me if you see me coming close. I won't mind at all!
- Overall, my classes have the potential to be a challenge. Everything that I bring to the classroom with me is filled with intention and I share it with you, knowing that it will benefit you during pregnancy and beyond by building strength, helping you find connection and stretching tight muscles. I have trained with and learned from pelvic floor physical therapists, knowledgeable prenatal and postpartum yoga instructors, and my own pregnancies. Expect to release tension and leave feeling good, but expect to put in a little work as well.
What should you bring to class?
Start by wearing comfortable clothes that won't dig into your belly. They don't have to be "yoga clothes" if that isn't what you have on hand, but I do love the maternity line by Beyond Yoga called Beyond the Bump. Their leggings are so incredibly soft, and the rouched belly band can be folded over post-pregnancy which makes them wearable long after baby is born.
Water! Don't forget to bring a water bottle and feel free to sip as often as you need to during class.
If you are struggling with nausea, especially early in your pregnancy, having Nux Vomica and Sea Band bracelets are a great way to make sure you feel comfortable during class. (I usually bring homeopathics and essential oils to class with me for vomiting emergencies.)
Bringing a yoga mat seems obvious, but if you do not have a good, solid, grippy mat I recommend using one of our studio mats. Many women experience wrist pain during pregnancy and think that using a thick, squishy yoga mat will help, but it can actually worsen wrist issues. The squishy surface is unstable and sometimes even slippery, which can be unsafe, or at the very least, distracting during your practice.
And a small snack. Having low blood sugar while pregnant is no fun, and class ends right around lunch time. Have an easy to grab, healthy snack on hand or in your car to get you from class to lunch so you aren't starving. Here's my favorite post-yoga snack while pregnant~
A last note on our Sunday yoga classes~ I always show up to class at least 15 minutes early and stay a few minutes after to answer any questions you may have! Show up early and enjoy the Earth Mama Angel Baby pregnancy tea that I bring along with me every class. Our studio supplies paper cups and hot water, but on especially cold and cozy days I have brought my own favorite tea mug.
I'm looking forward to seeing you there!
If you have any questions about private lessons for pregnancy or postpartum, please feel free to contact me here, or email firstname.lastname@example.org ~ private lessons are available in person or online using Zoom.
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