Why you should switch to prenatal yoga once you’ve got a bun in the oven.
For years I had been practicing heated, power vinyasa at Urban Yoga Spa and Live Love Flow. I loved it. I was addicted. I cried when I found out that I wasn’t supposed to practice yoga in heat anymore. I tried and found prenatal yoga to be really boring during my first pregnancy.
I cried again when a yoga teacher told me that she had practiced in the heat through her pregnancies and was totally fine. All her babies were born with ten fingers and ten toes. I was ecstatic. After getting my doctor’s permission, I grabbed my mat, took some anti-nausea medicine and sped downtown for a class with my favorite teacher, Jennifer Isaacson.
My ego was totally satiated as I flew into Bird of Paradise, Crow and Half Moon pose. Check out the strong pregnant lady in the corner in her short shorts and sports bra, keeping up with everyone else! Woohoo!
But when the nausea and overheating started to make me feel faint at around 24 weeks, I felt like my only choice was to switch to prenatal yoga. The classes were nice, but were still frustrating because I couldn’t get into the same flow – the feeling of euphoria – that I got from my power classes.
The reality is that it wasn’t the class that was the problem. My rajasic tendencies were preventing me from experiencing the power of slowing down and practicing ahimsa.
After having two babies, and two rounds of post-partum depression (the opposite of rajas is tamas), I now teach prenatal yoga. I don’t attend power yoga classes anymore. I still love them and still teach them, but my yoga practice has evolved to the yoga of motherhood. I sometimes wonder if I could have avoided the depression and two c-sections if I had switched to prenatal yoga sooner.
If you’re barefoot and pregnant, I encourage you to start a prenatal yoga practice sooner rather than later.
Here are the reasons why:
- Prenatal yoga is taught in a way that ensures you don’t injure yourself by gently stretching your muscles throughout your pregnancy.
- Prenatal yoga provides therapeutic relief to all of the weird aches and pains of pregnancy.
- Prenatal yoga provides a community of other pregnant women to learn from, be supported by and share the experience with (everyone wants to know how you’re feeling; and they’ll really listen!)
- Prenatal yoga gives you an opportunity to learn and practice poses that you may use in labor.
- Prenatal yoga gives you a chance to slow down and tune into the life that is growing inside of you.
- Prenatal yoga gives you time to think about and prepare for your labor and birth.
- Prenatal yoga teaches you how to calm your mind, so that your baby feels calm too.
- Prenatal yoga provides a space for the mother inside of you to awaken.
Like most things yoga, it is hard to describe all of the benefits of a prenatal practice in words. You’ve got to experience it for yourself.
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