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5 Reasons to Choose Prenatal Yoga Over “Regular” Yoga When You’re Pregnant

Supriya

Posted on May 27, 2021 #recent

I am in no way saying prenatal yoga is for “irregular” people or that being pregnant makes you an irregular person.

But when it comes to distinguishing between prenatal yoga practices and other types of yoga, I’ve found that many people use the phrase “regular yoga.” So for the purpose of this article, that’s the phrase I’ll use!

Pregnancy is such a beautiful thing. Miraculous!

It is always amazing to me that the female human body can create and grow another human. The changes that come along with pregnancy? Not always so amazing.

Yoga during pregnancy is an excellent way to alleviate some of those yucky pregnancy symptoms, like nausea, vomiting, acid reflux, and lower back pain. But not all regular yoga poses are meant for pregnant women.

That’s why I chose to start a Prenatal Yoga class with myYogaTeacher! My class is specifically designed for expectant mothers. It’s not just a modified “regular” yoga class. The Prenatal Yoga class addresses many of the changes and challenges that result from being pregnant.

If you’re not an MYT member yet, please join us! You get access to 35+ different group classes every day, taught by experienced and expert yoga instructors from the birthplace of yoga, India! Grab your 2-week free trial here!

In the meantime, let’s talk about why it’s important to choose an actual prenatal yoga class taught by someone experienced in yoga for pregnant women instead of a regular or more traditional yoga class.

1. A prenatal yoga class will not require you to lie on your back or belly like most regular yoga classes will.

It may sound pretty obvious to you that lying on your belly at any point during pregnancy isn’t healthy for you or the baby.

Plus, it’s certainly not going to be comfortable!

Lying flat on your back during the second and third trimester of pregnancy is also not recommended. The weight of the baby and your uterus puts pressure directly on your back, spine, intestines, and vena cava – the main vein that carries deoxygenated blood back to the heart from your lower body.

Many poses in traditional yoga classes require you to lie flat on your back and stomach. These should be completely eliminated from a yoga practice for pregnant women.

2. Prenatal yoga will not include advanced inversion poses or arm balances.

First of all, if you’ve never had any experience doing inversions, while you’re pregnant is not the best time to learn.

Even if you have, inversions and arm balances can be potentially dangerous while you’re pregnant, particularly during your second and third trimester. You may not realize it quite so much while you’re standing, but a growing belly and changing hormones can easily throw you off balance, causing injury to you or baby.

Prenatal yoga is designed to be safe for pregnant women in every trimester. So you will not ever be asked to do asanas like crow, headstands, chin stands, shoulder stands, or plough pose.

3. You will use more props during prenatal yoga than you would in a regular yoga class.

Get your gear ready, because you’ll need it! Prenatal yoga helps relieve stress and anxiety as well as many other pregnancy symptoms.

So don’t begin your practice without these items:

  • Yoga straps
  • Blocks
  • Yoga bolster (or couch cushion, several folded blankets or pillows)
  • A body pillow
  • Yoga knee pad
  • Thicker yoga mat
  • Optional: Wide foam wedge

Being in the middle of a yoga practice and not having everything you need can be stressful. Which is the exact opposite of what yoga is supposed to be. You may even need a chair for stability during standing poses. So have one nearby!

4. Your prenatal yoga class will never be hot.

If you’re taking it with me at myYogaTeacher, you’ll obviously be able to adjust the temperature of your yoga space to whatever makes you feel the most comfortable.

That’s one of the glorious things about virtual yoga!

Prenatal yoga should not ever be done in a hot space, whether it’s a room or outside. Hot yoga can cause hyperthermia (not hypOthermia). This is when your body’s internal temperature is 104 degrees or higher.

This is extremely dangerous for expectant mother and baby!

5. Prenatal core work is done very differently.

I mentioned earlier that lying on your back during pregnancy isn’t recommended, particularly during the second and third trimesters.

That means that prenatal yoga core work is performed very differently.

Typically, I try to incorporate core work into the prenatal asanas, but we also do core work standing up and on our hands and knees. This allows expectant mothers to safely strengthen their abdominal muscles during pregnancy.

Having a strong core is really important, but especially when you’re pregnant. It protects your back, helps support your growing belly, and helps you recover from pregnancy more quickly after giving birth.

I encourage you to regularly participate in yoga when you’re pregnant. It is generally considered safe unless you have high or low blood pressure or are having a high risk pregnancy.

Benefits of prenatal yoga include:

  • Improved sleep
  • Better/more stable mood
  • Relief of aches and pains
  • Improved circulation
  • Easier childbirth
  • Faster recovery from childbirth
  • Build strength and stamina

We’d love to have you join us in my Prenatal Yoga Class! We’re not just there for yoga. We’re there to support one another during this huge transition in your life – and your body!

If you haven’t jumped on the virtual yoga bandwagon yet, it’s really easy to try it out with myYogaTeacher! Sign up for your 2-week free trial here and get access to the many wonderful classes MYT has to offer!

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