what to look for in a pregnancy class

Katie has been teaching prenatal yoga classes for 20 years and I weave elements of traditional yoga poses with breath and movement to help you feel calm and confidant to give birth and become a mum.

When you are looking for a prenatal yoga class either online or in a studio You should be looking for qualified yoga teachers who have an innate  knowledge of not only yoga but all stages of pregnancy and birth.

A good prenatal yoga class will not only concentrate on the physical but will weave in breath awareness throughout the practice and will have a suitable relaxation meditation at the end of the yoga class.  You should always finish a prenatal yoga class or practice at home feeling supported and connected to your physical body and your innate mothering wisdom.

There are some fundamental yoga elements that should be focused on during your prenatal yoga class and which beyoga adheres to:

Asana, (posture), pranayama (breathing), pratyahara (relaxation)\ (meditation). This is all aimed at nurturing the nurturer. Just as the Earth sustains all life, you as a mother-to-be provides a life-sustaining environment for your baby.

There are many asanas that are suitable for pregnancy, but these should be taught in a feminine way rather then a strict masculine fashion, therefore cultivating the flow of the feminine.

The pranayama practice should be focusing on long outbreaths with sound work and sighs to help you become prepared for the birth of your baby.   The breath should be focused on throughout the class and altered for different postures helping you the mother feel a breath suitable for contractions and a breath for resting and letting go in between contractions.  This breath will help You to find a quick relaxation response and to release with your breath so you are able to stay calm and focused through the birth of your baby.

In your prenatal yoga practice you also integrate pelvic floor exercises which will help you during pregnancy, labour and after the birth of your baby. To be consciously aware of your pelvic floor and how you can strengthen and then release it at will will give you greater confidence for the birth. Toned pelvic floor muscles will lessen the likelihood of perineal tear and aid a speedy recovery afterwards. Your pelvic floor muscles support your uterus, bladder and bowel, and when they are toned they bring strength and firmness to these areas,and assist in the prevention of incontinence. They also help in supporting the lumbar spine as the use of your abdominal muscles decrease during pregnancy.

At the end oft our prenatal yoga class we do a deep relaxation/meditation that will help you integrate all of the subtle changes that have taken place during the practice and allow you to let go and relax with your baby.

Remember that during your pregnancy your body will be producing a hormone called relaxin secreted by the placenta from the 2nd trimester. Relaxin softens the ligaments that join bone to bone around the joints, and the tendons that attach muscle to bone. The good news is that this allows the pelvic joints to become more flexible while the uterus expands, making space for the baby. However it can potentially lead to injuries as you may over stretch and loosen ligaments. This especially applies to the sacroiliac joints, where the lumbar spine joins the pelvis so please if it feels easier then you thought don’t over do it, but simply enjoy the ease with which you can sink into poses within your normal capacities.

“Your spirit as a woman has all the knowledge and power you need to give birth and to nurture your baby. It is in your genes. it has been there since you yourself were conceived. You can trust its wisdom.”

–Gurmukh Khalsa