Great news! In all likelihood your heart skipped a beat when you glanced at the double line or smiley face on your pregnancy test. And as the little wee embryo settles into your womb, you’ll start considering how to modify your wellness plan. I’ve had mammas connecting lately enquiring about attending Prenatal Yoga sessions at the Nest on Silas in the first trimester. While some prenatal yoga teachers prefer you wait until after first trimester before joining class, I like to err on the side of enthusiasm, and here’s why:
Prenatal Yoga is one of the safest forms of movement you can do.
Ok, yes there is much more to yoga than movement, but without getting into the other beautiful elements of a yoga practice I believe it is one of the safest things you can do for your body both physically and energetically while the pregnancy establishes. Prenatal yoga is designed to be safe for all pregnancy stages, and it’s much better to attend a specifically designed class from the get-go. If you’ve not practiced yoga regularly before, this is not the time to start out in a non pregnancy-specific environment. Established yoginis have to consider a few safety principles if they wish to continue their regular practice in the early days; I’ll post on that another time.
The longer you practice pregnancy yoga, the stronger those positive effects will be.
The more consecutive weeks you attend class and incorporate elements into your personal practice, the more you and your baby will reap benefits through pregnancy and beyond. Breath work, mudras, relaxation, meditation and asana’s potency surges with dedicated focus and practice. You also get the extra juju of mamma magic being in the space with other pregnant ladies. With each class I try and disperse little seeds of advice with the intent that you keep the kernels that resonate, leaving you with your own little basket of self-informed wisdom to draw upon as needed.
You can build your mamma networks.
I love it when mamma bears discover they are at the same gestation with their wee ones. It’s even better when they are able to stay connected after the little bubs make their entrance. Having a network of like-minded women can be a sanity-saver in the early mamma years; making these connections before the birth will certainly take the pressure off when you have other things on your agenda.
A prenatal yoga session may help with mild to moderate nausea.
While pregnant with the girl I was teaching three classes a week. For about two months I was intensely ill; I had an unpredictable, rogue-style pregnancy nausea that could see me running for the toilet in seconds. Several times I would get ready to teach asking myself how I was going to get through it, dreading something that I once enjoyed.
But every time, without fail, I would start to feel better about a half hour into the practice, and the effects would last for a good few hours. I do believe that regular movement, and the kind offered through a pregnancy yoga class, can be a balm to those challenging weeks. So even if you wake up telling yourself you don’t feel like it; make sure you try once, and just see if it makes a difference.
Prenatal yoga will not put your pregnancy at risk.
A conservative estimate for the miscarriage rate is 25%. In my own travels I would say that rate is likely higher. And as awful and devastating as a loss is, prenatal yoga is not the reason a pregnancy doesn’t work out. Having experienced two losses myself, I look back on those pregnancies and know that while I was a mama to the little souls who didn’t make it earth-side, that by engaging in a regular pregnancy-specific yoga practice I was creating a loving environment for them while they were there physically. I believe mammahood begins before conception; taking care of yourself and respecting your body with appropriate movement and nutrition is a major component. While my heart goes out to every woman and family who have experienced pregnancy loss, I think that if anything, a safe physical practice would be better than nothing regardless of how an unpredictable pregnancy might go. And if you, goddess-forbid, do lose your beloved, call upon the relaxation, breathing and gentle yoga postures you learned in prenatal yoga to ease your aching soul.
Whether you’re seven or 27 weeks pregnant, I would like to cordially invite you to a luscious little practice in an intimate space full of amazing resources for you and your family. Prenatal yoga sessions at the Nest on Silas run from 10 -1130 on Saturdays.
Much love to you mamma, I hope to see you on the mat soon!
Experienced yoga mammas I would love to hear from you! What was your prenatal yoga pregnancy practice and when did you start? Do you believe it helped or hindered?