Is yoga safe during pregnancy? This is such a complicated question. Yes! Absolutely yoga is safe during pregnancy, however certain types of yoga and yoga postures are not safe during pregnancy.
The most important thing in pregnancy, with any exercises during pregnancy that you're seeking out, is working with a teacher who knows what a pregnant body should or shouldn't be doing. This means whether its yoga, or cross-fit or lifting weights, you should be working with someone who is trained in working with pregnant moms and knows how to best support your body as it changes throughout your pregnancy.
How do I know if the yoga I'm doing is safe?
Ideally you are able to take a class that is designed specifically for a pregnant body. It seems now that most yoga studios will offer a prenatal yoga class, and ideally this class is taught by someone who is certified to teach prenatal yoga. These are the people who have the most information as to what yoga poses should or should not be done during pregnancy. Yoga classes at gyms or yoga classes that are not designed for pregnant people or not taught by teachers who are certified in prenatal yoga classes are questionable. Still unsure? Read my blog post on why to avoid gym yoga classes during pregnancy.
Can I still take regular yoga classes?
Absolutely, but it then becomes important to educate yourself as to what you should or shouldn't be doing in these classes. Knowing your body is very important, your body will give you a lot of information as to what it needs. The important part however is listening, and this is where so many of us often struggle. One of the best ways to do this is to supplement your regular yoga classes with online prenatal videos taught by a trusted teacher so that you have a better idea of what you should or shouldn't be doing, or what you can do if the class is doing something you know won't work for you.
We may feel that something doesn't feel exactly right or we may notice that a movement that we make seems to tweak or pull something, but often times we push through. We push through because for so many of us exercise is a competition. We see other people doing things and we think “I should be able to do that too”. When we are pregnant, however, our body is changing drastically and so changing our yoga practice to match that is very important.
Your body will get a subtle clues as to what won't and will feel good. Common sense will also direct you in many ways. For example would you lie in your belly when you were pregnant? Hopefully your answer is no.
Can I take classes not taught by a certified Prenatal teacher?
Practicing without the guide of a certified prenatal yoga teacher can be difficult because you will often need to be aware of what poses you should or shouldn't be doing as the teacher might not have this information in their repertoire. The class will also be taught with students in mind who are not pregnant so you will also need be aware of ways to modify poses if the class is doing things that you know that you shouldn't be doing.
Yoga offers so many great benefits that I would encourage you to seek out a yoga class if it is available in your area. You can also supplement these classes or simply take classes online with our online yoga videos.
Wisdom and insight with a dash of humor to help guide you on your journey through motherhood.