I’m pregnant - can I come to yoga classes?
Yoga is ideal for the emotional and physical journey through conception, pregnancy, childbirth and labour, as well as continuing to be a support through parenthood. Yoga works on your system to promote strength and movement, which may help in labour (although there’s no guarantee that birth will be easy!). It also develops mental flexibility, which will be of most use to you.
If you haven’t experienced much or any yoga asana (posture) classes, seek the help of a reputable pregnancy yoga teacher. General drop-in classes will have people of many abilities and the teacher may be hard-pushed to teach you the basic postures and the adaptations that you will need.
You also need an innate understanding of the basic yogic principles of receptivity and non-violence (ahimsa) so that, as ligaments loosen and your centre of gravity shifts, you will be attuned with and respectful to your body.
If you have a regular, established practice, there should be no problem with carrying on with your regular class. Many teachers will advise you not to attend class and to practice gentle, restful postures at home between the eleventh and thirteenth week of your term, as there is an increased risk of miscarriage. After birth, allow at least three weeks for the body to adjust before resuming practice, as areas that usually support you during certain poses are likely to be temporarily out of service, like the abdominal muscles and the pelvic floor.
*If you have any complications in this or previous pregnancies, seek advice from your GP in full liaison with any potential yoga instructor.