What is Prenatal Yoga?

Prenatal yoga focuses on easing the discomforts, aches, and fatigue commonly caused by pregnancy. The classes create strength, energy, flexibility and develop focus through a gentle practice designed especially for the pregnant woman's needs.  Prenatal yoga classes provide a safe, peaceful and supportive environment for moms-to-be and a perfect place to start building a community with other moms going through the same experience. A place where you are free to ask questions and share the joys and tribulations of pregnancy.

What are the benefits of prenatal yoga?

Prenatal yoga is one the best ways to remain strong and flexible when you are pregnant. It helps to decrease stress, eleviate tension, open the pelvis, strengthen the lower back, and build endurance for childbirth. Much of the practice is devoted to breath work (Pranayama) which increases lung capacity, calms the mind, controls the breath, and starts building a foundation of focused breathing for use during labor and delivery.

How will yoga help me prepare for pregnancy, labor and delivery?

Yoga practice helps build strength, flexibility, and endurance to the body, the breath, and the mind. Yoga cultivates moment-to-moment awareness of how these three elements work together, and the establishment of this practice helps a woman prepare mentally and physically for what lies ahead. Pregnancy, labor and delivery are full of many intense sensations and discomforts but if a woman is able to focus fully just on what is happening in a particular moment then she will come to realize this labor is "pain with a purpose", allowing her to trust in the process, and that each moment is leading to the birth of her baby. The classes include practices to help prepare for birth by meeting challenges and practicing surrender.

When should I start classes?

There is no set answer to that question. In general, it is never too early or too late to begin a yoga practice. However, that being said, it is sometimes not reccommended to practice during the first twelve weeks (1st trimester). In fact, many women to start prenatal yoga after 1st trimester exhaustion and nausea are over, listen to your body and honor its needs and limitations. If you fell well during your 1st trimester, regardless of the stage of your pregnancy, you may begin a responsible prenatal yoga practice, as long as your health care provider has not told you otherwise.

Is it okay to start in the middle of pregnancy?

Yes. You will find that the practice of yoga will be of benefit to your body and mind, regardless of when you choose to start a practice. Whether you chose to take prenatal yoga classes through all the nine months of your pregnancy or start midway through you will notice the benefits of the practice before, during and after you give birth. These classes are specifically designed to honor the needs and limitations of pregnancy, modifications will be given, to help you individualize and find comfort in any pose.

Can I take prenatal yoga without any previous yoga experience?

Yes. No prior yoga experience is required. Many of the women attending our prenatal classes are new to yoga. You will find that each of our prenatal yoga poses are safe for all stages of pregnancy and will help to ease the aches and pains that are so common during pregnancy. Pregnancy is the perfect time to begin a yoga practice since your focus naturally turns inward and it is common to be more in tune with your body while pregnant.  I find that women often start taking yoga while pregnant and then continue to do so after birth, creating what may turn into a lifetime practice. Please, check with your caregiver before coming to your first class to make sure they have cleared you for this sort of exercise.

How often should I come to class?

The ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) recommends exercise at least three times a week. The more frequently yoga is practiced the more yoga will impact your life in positive ways. Please refer to our schedule to see all our options for class.

What should I wear and bring?

Clothing should not bind or restrict the body, so wear something soft, stretchy, and comfortable, something that you can move in. You may want to bring something to drink, a small towel, and if you prefer your own props please bring them as well. The studio provides all the necessary props for classes, just in case.

How long can I continue to practice?

You can continue your yoga practice up to and through labor and delivery. Many of the movements and breathwork taught during class are designed specifically to help you ease the pain and discomfort of labor and delivery. You must wait to get your caregivers clearance to resume exercise before coming back to your practice. For vaginal births, you must wait until bleeding has stopped, usually 2-4 weeks. For cesarean births you must wait at least six weeks. Again, please consult with your caregiver. I would recommend attending a designated postnatal yoga class to help your body to heal correctly. Please refer to our schedule for class options.

I have a regular yoga practice already. Can I continue with my normal classes or should I switch to prenatal classes?

It is my belief that yoga practice should be modified when you find out that your are pregnant. Prenatal yoga classes are specifically designed to help ease the aches and pains common to pregnancy, prepare the body and mind for labor and delivery, and how to use the breath to ease stress and provide focus. I recommend taking a designated prenatal yoga class taught by an experienced, certified (RPYT) teacher throughout your entire pregnancy and attending designated postnatal classes after you give birth. During pregnancy certain poses and practices are unsafe for you and your baby, without proper modifications and awareness this can be dangerous, so please seek the guidance of an experienced teacher. Also, it is unwise to significantly raise the body temperature or practice in an overheated environment. Experienced yogis will benefit from slowing down a little in honor of the changes in their body, so please consider the wisdom of attending prenatal yoga classes because of the the tailored attention to preparation for labor and childbirth that they offer. Another welcome benefit is the company and support of other women. 

Do I have to preregister? Do I need a note from my caregiver? How long is a class? What are my options for payment?

No. Preregistration is not required. Please arrive a couple of minutes early to your first class to fill out new student paperwork. I highly recommend that you consult with your caregiver prior to attending class, it is important to receive consent for any form of exercise in which you are thinking of participating. However, I do not require a written note. Our classes are 90 minutes long. You may pay online, using PayPal, I also accept cash, credit cards, and personal check.

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