So you’ve just found out you’re pregnant? Congratulations! But you want to continue your ashtanga practice what do you do? Here is a guide to help you adjust your practice with baby in mind:
SOFTEN YOUR BREATH
Ujjayi breath is still great and can be a great tool for relaxing yourself and your baby if done more softly instead of to create heat.
Yoga relaxation is awesome in pregnancy, during labour and postnatal for you and baby. Check out this great resource to learn breathing techniques or just to help you relax and our fabulous workshops.
ARE YOU SITTING COMFORTABLY?
Use as many props as you can in any asana to make sure you are fully comfortable especially in savasana (you are fine to lie on your back up to 30 weeks)
TAKE IT EASY
This is the most important and probably the hardest, whether you are a beginner or nearing the second series the advice is the same do at least 30% less than you would usually do. Try to put your ego aside and picture making space for baby in each asana. Try to keep feet hip distance apart.
MAKE SPACE FOR BABY
Avoid deep twists as a general rule it’s good to go the opposite way to everyone else so you are in a nice open twist with plenty of room in the abdomen area. Avoid any asana that involves a heel in the belly (eg half lotus). When forward bending don’t push yourself as far forward as you can, focus instead on lifting and lengthening the spine.
If you are used to jumping in vinyasas you need to step instead, jumping puts too much pressure on the pelvic floor muscles and too much stress on the cervix.
WATCH OUT FOR THE RELAXIN
During pregnancy your body releases a hormone called Relaxin, this makes your body much more flexible but also means it is easy to over stretch this means that your ligaments and tendons will not rebound and can cause uneven wearing of the cartilage in later life.
Enjoy your practice, try to be mindful of yourself and the baby you nurture, use chest opening asana to promote easy breath and take time to let yoga help you focus on yourself and your baby.