Pre/Postnatal Tips

PRENATAL YOGA FAQs

IS IT OKAY IF I HAVE NEVER PRACTICED YOGA BEFORE?
Yes.  Our prenatal yoga program is designed for women who may or may not have experience with yoga.  A prenatal yoga class should offer moms-to-be with the physical and mental tools needed to assist in the work of labor. Our classes focus on strengthening the body, building endurance and increasing flexibility while also focusing on the breath and providing plenty of gentle movements and modifications to accommodate bodies as they grow. If you are more experienced, you can explore our other classes as long as you take the proper precautions advised during pregnancy.  If you are new to yoga, stick with our prenatal or relaxation flow with meditation classes. 
WHEN CAN I BEGIN PRACTICING YOGA?
Always speak to your Midwife or OB-GYN before starting any exercise program. If you are new to yoga, its best to begin the journey of prenatal yoga after 11 weeks. Our recommendation is: best not to push, honor your intuition, and listen to your body's needs.
WHAT DOES A PRENATAL YOGA CLASS CONSIST OF?

We begin classes with brief introductions and sharing, followed by centering and several minutes of stillness, followed up with poses that ‘warm up’ the body and then ‘work’ the body. Class ends with time to absorb and relax the body. We may play calming music and incorporate meditation and/or massage.
WHAT SHOULD I WEAR TO A YOGA CLASS?

Dress in optimal comfort and be certain to dress in layers. Leggings, shorts or yoga pants with a loose tank or tee will work. Bottom line is, be comfortable and be able to move.
BESIDES MYSELF, WHAT ELSE SHOULD I BRING  TO A PRENATAL YOGA CLASS?

Yoga mat, and water bottle. If you don’t have a yoga mat, we have them for rent and also purchase at the studio We are a Green (BYOB) studio, so make sure to bring your own water bottle. There is filtered water for $1 refill/purchase.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I PRACTICE?
It is important to take good care of yourself during pregnancy, and part of this is to not overdo it and to get plenty of rest.  Try to practice a minimum of once or twice a week.  If it feels good to you, feel free to do a gentle practice daily.   Don't push yourself and always rest when you feel that you need it.  The body speaks loudly during pregnancy - make sure you listen.
HOW FAR INTO MY PREGNANCY CAN I PRACTICE YOGA?
Prenatal yoga is safe and helpful throughout your entire pregnancy up until the day you give birth.  Unless you hear otherwise from your doctor or yoga makes you uncomfortable, feel free to practice throughout the whole pregnancy.
HOW WILL YOGA HELP MY PREGNANCY?
Pregnancy can bring about an overload of different feelings.  Joy, fear, excitement and anxiety are normal feelings when pregnant.  Yoga helps to bring balance to this roller coaster of emotions.  Setting aside time to connect to yourself, and your breath and body helps overcome stressful thoughts while also creating a healing and calming experience.  Yoga also helps to open the hips and strengthen the pelvic floor (which is essential for childbirth) and creates more space in your lower back and hamstrings. You’ll develop better posture and less tension from the weight you are carrying in your midsection.
HOW WILL YOGA HELP MY LABOR AND DELIVERY?
Yoga gives you a powerful set of tools that will help to make your labor and delivery easier to move through.  The postures practiced in prenatal yoga help to both open and strengthen the pelvic floor and strengthen the hips so that you are comfortable laboring in a variety of different positions.  We believe the most powerful tool that will help in labor and delivery is the profound connection with the breath. The ability to use the breath during contractions and when pushing can greatly decrease the pain and fear many women associate with having a baby.
I DON'T WANT A NATURAL BIRTH.  IS PRENATAL YOGA STILL WORTHWHILE?
Yes.  Yoga is helpful not just with labor but throughout your pregnancy.  Even if you are planning on a more conventional approach to childbirth, you will still have to deal with contractions in the beginning of your labor.  If you are scheduled for a Caesarean delivery, yoga and breathing can help you cope with the anxiety that might arise when getting anesthesia and major surgery.

TIPS FOR A SMOOTH PREGNANCY

PRACTICE YOGA EVERYDAY
Whether this is your first pregnancy or you have already had children, being pregnant is wonderful, and can also be challenging.  Your body and mood will fluctuate with the onslaught of hormones; be easy on yourself. You may feel more tired and irritable throughout your pregnancy, and this too, may pass. By practicing yoga even 15-20 minutes everyday, you will feel more grounded, centered and energized. The postures, combined with the breath bring a state of balance and peace that can carry you during the pregnancy and beyond.
BIRTHING = LETTING GO
Listen to your body and the wise intuitive woman that resides inside of you. Know that the little one that grows inside of you has its own agenda!  You’ll receive urges to take a nap, eat certain foods, etc. Honor that. Let go of the fact that you might not be able to move as fast as you’re accustomed to. Look at this time of your life as a journey as you share your body with growing baby.
NOURISH YOUR BODY WITH HEALTHY FOODS
Pickles, ice cream, burgers anyone? You might give in to these cravings every now and again. We encourage you to eat a whole foods diet rich in lean and/or plant protein, lots of dark leafy green vegetables, whole grains and fruits. Let’s NOT forget water and hydrating. Try substituting coffee with green teas or herbal teas. Eat organic as much as possible to avoid toxic chemicals.
HAVE REASONABLE EXPECTATIONS ABOUT YOUR BIRTH
Birth plans can help avoid misunderstanding or added stress during labor by spelling out in advance what you'd like your delivery experience to be like. However, when labor is not progressing or if the baby is experiencing distress, your health care provide may need to deviate from the birth plan, handle the situation and deliver the baby safely and soundly. No two womens birth stories are the same. You only have so much control over what happens during your labor and should not beat yourself up if your labor and birth do not go as you were hoping. What matters most is that your baby is delivered healthy.
KNOW YOUR OPTIONS
You have choices. There are many birthing options these days.  Hospital births with OB/GYN's and midwives that may or may not include pain medication, birth centers with midwives, and home births with midwives.  Educate yourself on all of the available options in your area.  Talk to different women who have had different experiences and check out statistics for each method of delivery.  Depending on which way you choose to birth, your choices for childbirth could range from a birthing tub, no fetal heart monitor, no IV's, no medication,  free to eat, the ability to move around and labor in different positions, a birth ball and more.