You will have realized by now that practising yoga during pregnancy can help you work through fluctuating emotions, stay flexible and healthy and become positive about birth and parenting. Here are some things you probably didn’t know about yoga for pregnancy and birth…

1. Yoga is not a Cult! People have lots of preconceived ideas about what yoga is and who ‘should’ practise it. Anyone can do yoga. It helps you become flexible and calm so don’t be put off by serene looking photos of people with their legs around their neck

2. It’s important to find a yoga teacher who is right for you. If you’re new to yoga, YogaBellies classes cater for all levels and make you feel comfortable, wherever you are in your pregnancy or your yoga journey. Our teachers are fully qualified in teaching yoga for pregnant women, accredited by the IYN, YA and IPTI. If your prospective teacher does not hold a reputable Yoga Teacher Training qualification and specialist training in pregnancy yoga, look elsewhere!

3. Don’t worry if you’ve never tried yoga before. 80% of the mummies who come to YogaBellies pregnancy yoga classes have done very little or no yoga at all before attending. The classes have a nice steady pace and the focus is on practising at the level at which you feel comfortable – everyone will be at a different stage of pregnancy and feel differently so it’s important to focus on what feels best for you (and baby).

4. The most important thing is not to force yourself (or baby) to do anything you don’t feel comfortable with. It’s important to listen to your body’s signals.

5. If you have practised yoga before or perhaps have been a dedicated runner or gymnast, prenatal yoga can help you come to terms with the fact that it’s no longer just about you. Super fit mums can often find it hard to slow down during pregnancy, but this is just as important as keeping fit. Realizing that you can’t do everything the way you used to, before you were pregnant, is the first lesson in being a parent.

6. A pregnancy yoga class isn’t just about keeping fit. Yes, we use especially adapted yoga postures which are safe and beneficial during pregnancy, but at YogaBellies classes you will also learn breathing techniques to use to calm and soothe the mind. These can be used during pregnancy, birth and beyond.

7. We also discuss useful postures to help get baby into the correct position for birth and to help turn a breech baby.

8. We look at postures and positions you can assume during birthing and birth to assist baby’s easy entry into the world.

9. At the end of class we have a lovely deep relaxation and self-hypnosis session, which, if practised regularly, helps mum remain calm and positive about pregnancy and birth. And yes, we do have lots of sleeping mummies during this part.

10. Pregnancy yoga classes are the perfect place to meet other likeminded mums. It’s so important to meet other mums locally who are at the same stage in life as you and going through the same thing. Peer support will help you through the ups and downs of pregnancy and parenthood and reassure you that you and your baby are ‘normal’ and that someone else has probably had the same issue.

This is an extract from Cheryl MacDonald’s new book YogaBellies for Pregnancy available in paperback and Kindle on click here

May 8, 2016


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