Finding out your pregnant can be both the most exciting and scariest time of your life. You no longer are thinking of just your own wellness but also that of your unborn child. Talk about a lot to think about.
Pregnancy is one kind of experience, which requires a certain form of support and learning. The prenatal period is a time to connect with your body and learn new things about yourself. Your energy levels will shift, your hormones will begin to change, even the foods you used to love could shift something crazy.
With all the changes that are happening, it can feel good to return to a practice or start a practice, that gives you a sense of control. Or simply offers you the extra support your body needs right now.
To process these changes and establish a community with other mothers, we always recommend prenatal yoga for new mamas. These classes help you connect with your changing body while addressing the mental and emotional challenges of motherhood.
Many new mothers are hesitant to try a prenatal yoga class, especially if yoga is new to them. So we’ve compiled a list of FAQ’s here, answered by our very own Founder and mama, Alyssa Manny.
It is our hope that this blog helps answer some of the questions that may be holding you back from trying out prenatal yoga. We hope you’ll get to experience a class soon!
Frequently Asked Questions: Prenatal Yoga
What is prenatal yoga?
Prenatal Yoga is mind, body, movement, breath, spirit, and baby connection during one of the most awesome and inspiring times in your life. Yoga means “unity,” and through your Prenatal Yoga journey, we will guide you through accessible and supportive physical postures in order to create unity between you and your baby. You can expect postures that will focus on strength and stretch, as well as breath work, meditation, and soul nourishment. Prenatal Yoga at home is designed to start to build a daily self-care ritual so that you’re able to take care of yourself even when your baby enters earthside.
How it prenatal different from regular yoga?
There are a LOT of changes that happen in your body during all stages of pregnancy. Your pelvis can expand in order to accommodate your growing baby. And because soft tissues are more pliable, you may experience an increase in range of motion and flexibility. A subtle increase in range of motion is generally safe, but too much pushing can actually weaken the tissue fibers so that they’re overstretched (think of an elastic band losing elasticity) and not able to return to normal. In addition, there is a natural separation of your front abdominal wall as your baby grows.
With all these changes to your body, prenatal yoga is here to help you navigate movement in a way that will support your changing body and build strength and stretch for delivery day.
How is Ohana Prenatal Yoga different from others?
Ohana Prenatal Yoga videos can start to teach you to listen to your body through a finer level of feeling where you will be able to sense your safe range of motion. We will also teach you how to maintain intra-abdominal pressure while connecting to your deep core muscles (pelvic floor, transverse abdominus, internal obliques, external obliques, and multifidi) in order to safely engage in strengthening postures in order to mitigate advanced separation. We will also honor and acknowledge this fascinating time in your life with a conscious community dedicated to love and grace.
Can prenatal yoga be the first time I ever do yoga?
Yes. Absolutely. Without a doubt. You do not need a single moment of yoga experience to ever begin a practice. All you need to have is an open heart and a curious mind. We will take care of the rest so that you are fully supported in each Prenatal Yoga video.
What are the benefits of prenatal yoga?
Hello, back pain! We see you. And we’ll take care of you. Prenatal yoga benefits include: strength and endurance for delivery, calms the central nervous system, reduces stress and anxiety, improves sleep, lubricates your joints, creates a connection to your pelvic floor for ease of delivery AND reparation after delivery (whether vaginal or C-section), increases blood circulation to deliver much-needed oxygen to your baby, decreases nausea and headaches, supports depression, reduces risk of preterm labor and allows you to connect to a mamma community. Even if you are taking Prenatal Yoga videos at home, our entire Ohana family is here to support your journey. Connect with us in our members-only Facebook group to thrive as a mamma each and every day.
What are signs I should stop doing prenatal yoga?
Pain, pure and simple. There is a difference between discomfort and acute pain. Discomfort is something that you can lean into a little bit to discern whether the posture, movement, or mindset is simply uncomfortable or something more. Pain is clear and present and is experienced through immediate acute tension somewhere in your body. Please do not push yourself into moments of pain. Only you can be the judge in your own practice, knowing that due to the continued changes in your body, thresholds for pain can also change by the minute.
How early in pregnancy can I start taking prenatal yoga?
Now! Prenatal Yoga is safe for any stage of your pregnancy as long as you and your healthcare provider are aligned in your movement and journey.
What poses are considered unsafe to practice during pregnancy?
As your pregnancy progresses, there are several modifications to take in physical postures. In order to protect the attachment of your placenta on the uterine wall, we advise you to forgo any deep, compressive twists. Vertical twists (where the belly is not compressing into the thigh) are fine as long as it feels good in your body.
Similarly, as time moves on it will no longer seem natural to lay on your belly as your weight will land on your baby. Instead of taking any prone belly postures like cobra, locust, or floor bow, take this time to rest in child’s pose.
As your baby grows in your third trimester, you may not be comfortable laying on your back for long periods of time. While lying on your back, your baby’s weight will press upon the inferior vena cava (the big blood vessel that brings blood flow back to your heart) and you may find it hard to breathe. You can simply roll to your side into the fetal position for the most comfort.
Similarly, if you’re in a forward fold (whether standing or seated), simply make space for your baby by widening your legs and feet. Ultimately you want the physical postures to feel really good in your body!
Do I have to take a prenatal class or can I take regular classes?
You do you, boo! Prenatal Yoga classes are an amazing way to experience tailored Prenatal Yoga video content for your own support and education. Every single Ohana Yoga class can be accessible, supportive, and informative during your Prenatal journey. Check out these regular classes for Prenatal modifications.
What core work should I be practicing during pregnancy?
It’s incredibly important to build a connection to your pelvic floor and deep core muscles with diaphragmatic breaths. What are diaphragmatic breaths? Diaphragmatic breaths stoke integration of the diaphragm, pelvic floor, and deep core to maintain intra-abdominal pressure. How do you practice diaphragmatic breaths? Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for resources and support. It’s time to kick 1990’s sit-ups to the curb and start to feel your core in a more holistic and embodied way.
How will prenatal yoga help my pregnancy and delivery?
You will need strength, endurance, and breath work tools to deliver your baby in a safe and supportive way. Yoga will not only teach you these things on a physical level but will also teach you these things on an energetic and emotional level. We, as women, are designed to carry and deliver babies (thank you, Universe!). It will be, by far, the most empowering and awe-inspiring experience of your life. And yoga is here to help guide your connection to your divine feminine every step of the way.
Ready to start your prenatal yoga journey with Ohana Yoga + Barre? Sign up for our 14-day trial (no credit card required) and see how our modifications can help support your prenatal body.