For complete pregnancy care, seek professional services that specialize in this. The following guidelines are only in regards to your prenatal yoga practice. Consult your doctor or midwife before beginning any exercise program.

  • Listen to your body through sensations. Let your body be your guide. If you are tired, rest. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. It is important not to over strain your abdominal area, ligaments, and joints. If you feel discomfort gently flow out of the postures.
  • Realize the flow is most important: never push or strain.
  • While flowing and releasing into the various movements, imagine your baby moving and breathing with you. Feel the connectedness of your spirits. Feel love flowing from heart to heart.
  • The baby is protected both by your abdominal muscles and by the sac of amniotic fluid in the womb. You may enjoy a gentle practice and know the baby feels protected and enjoys it, too.
  • While you are pregnant, regular practice keeps you in touch with the changes in your body. Listen to it, and be your own teacher in deciding what you can and cant do, adjusting your program accordingly. The most important guidance comes from observing how your body feels during and after the yoga practice. This will tell you so much.
  • During pregnancy, a hormone called “relaxin” is secreted which allows for an overall change in the hip opening postures. Take advantage of this natural opening by increasing time spent in hip opening postures.
  • As the baby and you grow in size, there are many postures that can be practiced to facilitate changes. Hip opening postures strengthen and open the lower back, abdominal muscles, and pelvis. The standing postures are important as the strengthen the hips and legs that help carry the baby. As the months go by the postures require more prop support. Make sure you always feel relaxed and the breath is even to insure comfort and inner calm.
  • Wear comfortable clothes remove shoes and create as quiet an environment as possible, using calming music and natural air flow. You want to avoid eating up to and hour or so before class, drink pure water in small amounts as needed.
  • Never practice if you are not feeling well. Avoid any postures that compress the stomach. After about three months as the baby grows you want to avoid postures on the stomach or deep spinal twists.
  • After you enter the second half of your pregnancy, postures on the back should not be practiced. During this time the uterus increases in size,lifts out of the pelvis, and repositions within the abdominal cavity. Along the back of the abdominal cavity there are two important blood vessels, vena cava and the aorta, that can compress when you rest on your back. Vena cava is the main vein that drains blood from the veins in the lower body back to the heart. The aorta brings the oxygenated blood from the heart to the rest of the body, including the placenta and the baby.  If the uterus compresses the vena cava, then your blood pressure may drop, making you feel nausea’s, dizzy, and sweaty. If the aorta becomes compressed, it may limit blood flow to the placenta and baby as well.
  • To relieve pressure on the uterus, rest or sleep on your left side, since the inferior vena cava is just to the right of midline, on the right of the spine. This places the least amount of weight upon the vena cava, decreasing venous pressure in the lower extremities. A small wedge or pillow may be used between the legs and behind the back for support.