If you are expecting
Again, please consult with your healthcare provider before beginning any new exercise program or if you are pregnant or have other healthcare concerns.
We wholeheartedly welcome Moms-To-Be in all of our classes at Urban Flow. If you’re expecting, it’s important that you do not get overheated, so please secure yourself a spot near a window and ask a teacher or assistant to crack a window for you. The same goes for those with health concerns that make the heat a challenge. We will help you find a spot in crowded classes and make sure there is ample fresh air ventilation for your practice.
There are several guidelines for pregnant students practicing vinyasa (flow-based) yoga. Here are a few tips to help you safely and fully enjoy your visit to Urban Flow.
- Pregnancy causes the body to release a hormone called relaxin which, true to its name, relaxes the ligaments so much that it is not uncommon for pregnant women to overstretch during yoga without realizing they are doing so. We advise expecting moms to back off the stretching a bit and instead focus on the breathing and strengthening aspects of their practice.
- Deep twists that originate in the belly are not healthy for pregnant women, because they can put undue pressure on the uterus. We recommend that moms-to-be instead twist lightly from the shoulders, or take an “open” twist in the opposite direction.
- The type of jumps that we sometimes practice during the vinyasa practice can run a very slight risk of dislodging the fertilized egg from the uterus during the early stages of pregnancy. Instead, step or walk through your vinyasa transitions.
- If the class is practicing any type of pranayama that requires breath retention or rapid breathing (like kapalabhati),
can instead practice your “birthing” breath. Ask a teacher to demonstrate, if you're not sure.
- We do not advise pregnant women to join us in inversions that run the risk of you tipping over or falling ungracefully to the floor. Legs-up-the-wall is a gentle variation with similar benefits.
- Deep backbends (like wheel) should be avoided. Supported bridge is a nice modification.
- During pregnancy, the abdominal muscles naturally relax to accommodate your growing belly. Tightening abdominal poses (such as navasana) are contraindicated.
- Belly squishers such as cobra are also a no-no. You can practice them through the first trimester, but later in your pregnancy they should be avoided.
- As your pregnancy progresses, your doctor may advise you to avoid lying on your back for long periods of time. At this point (or at any point during your pregnancy that it feels natural), you can practice savasana on your side.
We could go on and on about how great yoga is for pregnant women and how important it is to practice mindfully and with full body awareness, but the above guidelines should provide a good start.