Are you an expectant mum wondering it is safe for you to continue with your yoga practice or are you just starting out as a newbie yogi during your pregnancy here’s the lowdown and everything you need to know about Pregnancy Yoga… WHAT IS PREGNANCY YOGA? Just like traditional yoga, pregnancy yoga uses poses and breathing techniques to balance and align your body and your mind. With pregnancy, yoga will incorporate some of the usual yoga poses while also adding in some newly modified ones that are pregnancy-friendly Pregnancy Yoga is a wonderful way to enjoy an active pregnancy. It also helps to prepare you for labour. It helps to improve back pain, increases stamina while the awareness of breath is deeply relaxing for both mum and baby. Throughout each class, we aim to teach you some breathing and relaxation techniques that you can make use of during your labour. Alongside this, some of the poses we practice may help you get through contractions and may also help with delivery. WHAT DOES A PREGNANCY YOGA CLASS LOOK LIKE? The class starts with deep breathing and relaxation to center you both, followed by warm-up techniques and a sun salutation esp. Designed for pregnancy. Then we practice various postures and movements to help increase fluidity in the spine, relieve tension in the hips, pelvis, and lower back, open up the chest and shoulders and strengthen the arms and legs. The exercises and breath work will help prepare you for labour and beyond and increase your confidence in your body’s ability to birth your baby with as much ease as possible. There is a huge emphasis on breathing throughout the class to keep your mind focused and relaxed and to release tension and stress. The breath has an essential role during labour to open up the birth canal, increase dilation, and helps you to stay focussed and relaxed. The class includes an emphasis on the pelvic floor muscles, introducing exercises to help keep good tone and improve circulation in your pelvic floor. Attention to this muscle group is extremely important during and after pregnancy and a wonderful way to prepare for birthing your baby. Then to finish we focus on deep breathing techniques for pregnancy and labour and relaxation for both mum and baby WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF PREGNANCY YOGA? You are more than likely wondering what the benefits of Pregnancy Yoga are and if it is good for you? To answer your question, YES it is good for you—as well as keeping your body flexible, strong and in good shape, research on yoga in pregnancy suggests that it has many benefits. Benefits include improved sleep, reduction in anxiety, stress, and depression, and may also help with pregnancy back pain and nausea. Other benefits include more energy, deeper breathing, the release of muscle and mental tensions, and relief from heartburn, sciatica, and leg cramps. Alongside all of the physical and mental benefits, there are also social benefits. Pregnancy Yoga classes are a great chance for new and expecting mums to meet other mums-to-be while also find some downtime for yourself and relax in a safe space. WHEN SHOULD I START YOGA IN PREGNANCY? We would always recommend that you consult with your midwife or doctor before you start taking up a Pregnancy Yoga class just to be sure that there are no reasons why you shouldn’t partake in a class. With that said there are some reasons why you should avoid Pregnancy Yoga such as; certain medical conditions or if you are at an increased risk of preterm birth. Once you have gotten the all-clear from your doctor or midwife we suggest that you start classes when you feel comfortable. WHAT SHOULD I WEAR AND BRING TO A PREGNANCY YOGA CLASS? We suggest wearing loose-fitting and comfortable clothes that will allow you to move freely and with ease without pushing in on your bump. We find that longline maternity t-shirts that cover your bump are most preferred by most women who partake in classes. You may get warm throughout the class so we recommend wearing a few layers so you can strip down as you warm-up and cool down throughout the class. Socks with grips are also a good idea or barefoot is perfect too. Feel free to bring a blanket too for the relaxation section in the class. We also definitely recommend that you take some water with you to stay hydrated.