When and How to Start a Prenatal Yoga Practice

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Sarah Evans

Sarah Evans, an Experienced Prenatal, Postnatal, Children’s and Hatha Yoga Instructor

Our expert for this question below is Sarah Evans, an experienced Prenatal, Postnatal, Children’s and Hatha yoga instructor in Austin, Texas.  Sarah is a mom of two. Read more about Sarah here.

Q: I’ve tried yoga a couple of times before and heard it’s especially beneficial for pregnant women. As a beginner, should I try it? What can I expect from my first yoga practice? 

A: If you are newly pregnant, congratulations! You are embarking on such an amazing time in your life. Whether you have no yoga experience or have been practicing for years, attending a Prenatal yoga class is one of the best activities you can do for you and your baby!

Gathering with a group of expectant mamas provides invaluable support in this time of much change. In each class, the students spend the first few minutes sharing how they are feeling and ask questions. This time gives them an opportunity to be heard in a safe environment, and it provides a sense of normalcy to any student who might need reassurance that they are not alone in their physical or emotional feelings.

The yoga poses practiced in a Prenatal class are safe for both mom and baby. Since the body is in the flux so much during pregnancy, options are offered to either intensify or soften each pose. We begin with breath awareness and gentle warm-ups. Then we gradually work toward side stretches, subtle back bends, gentle forward bends, hip openers, and abdominal strengtheners. We end with time to rest, in the final pose of class, called Savasana.

All of these postures improve circulation, tone, balance, and gives a greater sense of space in the body. The release of endorphins through these movements helps to calm the discomforts of pregnancy. This, combined with deep, mindful breathing helps to foster relaxation, which is priceless during labor and delivery.

Most importantly, let your body be your guide! Listen to your body’s messages, be gentle with yourself, take breaks when needed, modify when appropriate. Enjoy connecting with your baby and appreciate your body for all the hard work it is doing to carry this sweet little life.

Please consider joining a Prenatal yoga class. It will greatly benefit both you and your baby!

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