TOP 6 THINGS TO AVOID IN PRENATAL YOGA
It’s pretty simple really: you want to to alleviate the aches and pains of pregnancy but avoid squishing your baby or straining your abdominal wall any more than it already is, which among other things may exacerbate any tendency you may have towards diastasis recti (the splitting of your rectus abdominus muscles. Not pleasant).
1. No strong abdominal work (and definitely no sucking your tummy in)
2. No strong back bends (only gentle upper back bends)
3. No strong twists (only gentle open twists)
4. No forward folds with legs together (forward folds with at least hip width space between the knees)
5. No postures on the belly
6. Avoid inversion.
So, this’ll keep you (and if you are a teacher, your students) safe. Which is where we start, always.
TOP 6 THINGS TO DO IN PRENATAL YOGA
1. Focus on opening the hip and groin area by doing hip opening postures like Butterfly Pose, Wide Angle Seated Forward Bend and Deep Squat
2. Strengthen the muscles around the pelvis by doing stabilising postures like Chair Pose, Semi squats and gentle Variations of Bridge Pose
3. Get the thighs ready for the hard work during labour by doing lots strengthening standing postures like Warrior Poses and gentle flowing movements like Salutations to the Sun (modified)
4. Focus on opening chest and upper back area and relaxing the other main areas or the upper body (shoulder, head and neck) to counterbalance the weight of the baby pulling the upper body forward and to open the ‘heart space’ in order soften any emotional tensions.
5. Practice Preparational Birthing Practices and pelvic floor awareness to prepare and empower the pregnant woman for labour by doing lots of challenging postures with calming breathing and Visualisation practices.
6. Practice useful Breathing Techniques that will help the mother to be to calm down the nervous system and to soften the belly and pelvis area during pregnancy and labour.