Prenatal Yoga Guidelines that can actually be used as life guidelines, for anyone, in any phase of life.
Prenatal Yoga Mantra: Learn to trust and follow your bodies guidance, meet yourself where you are each day, be honest and truthful with yourself and your needs as they shift and change.
Drink water and use the restroom as needed
Bring light snacks with you always, to eat if you are hungry or experiencing nausea.
Make SPACE for baby and your changing body in each pose.
Remain longer in certain shapes that feel good, allow yourself to experience joy and pleasure. Give yourself permission to receive.
Avoid poses that cause actual physical discomfort. There is a difference between a sharp pinching spasm and the dull achy tug that comes from holding yoga postures.
Practice presence with the sensations that do rise within the body. Observe, allow, and welcome them to arrive then pass through you.
Widen feet apart, to create a broader base in standing postures. To make space for baby, in chair pose and standing forward fold.
In twisting postures, rotate your heart center and belly open in a twist to keep the front body free and spacious.
Rest when needed and as often as necessary.
If you feel too warm or hot, pause to REST. Don't overheat, it takes baby 30min longer than you, to cool down.
Don't force or push yourself to perform any yoga pose.
Modify any and all poses to support your comfort level. This is true Self-care, when you are in total alignment with your body and baby.
When in seated postures, sit on a bolster or folded blanket for added support under your hips which creates space in your low back.
Avoid abdominal exercises that “crunch” the belly. Pregnancy is not a time to sculpt 6-pack-abs, it IS a time of expansion, blossoming and blooming.
Avoid inversions (going upside down). It is not necessary during pregnancy as this positioning can disrupt apana vayu, the natural downward flow of energy which is essential for labor.
Refrain from practicing poses on your back and belly as soon as it becomes uncomfortable in your body.
Let your baby guide you, they are an intelligent individual and you are deeply connected. Honor the intuitive impulses that arrive, trust your body and your baby.
I wrote the initial Prenatal Guidelines to hand out to my students when I began to teach Prenatal Yoga Classes in 2007. It was a list of things for women to consider, now that their bodies were changing. I felt guided to give them permission to arrive as they were, human women, in the phase of pregnancy. Each week we cultivated a sacred space of kindred sprits that went under the guise of Prenatal Yoga, for it was certainly no “ordinary” yoga class.
This is the newest list, just modified this morning. And I realized that we all need this list, or those of us that continue to ignore the natural fluctuations, urges and whispers of our body need to keep this list around, to remind us, that its okay to be a breathing, feeling, emotional, spiritual being, living an Earthly experience.