Prenatal Yoga and Accessibility
Updated: Jan 6, 2019
Now is not the time to get into certain poses
Just because you can, does not mean that you should!
Its a time of learning how to put ourselves in second or third place. I have been teaching prenatal yoga for 2 decades and usually experienced yoga students stay in a regular class rather than attend a prenatal class. I find this fascinating. It puts pressure on a yoga teacher who may have no idea how to help the prenatal woman with getting the most out of her practice, and also prevents connection with other prenatal yoga moms.
I like to introduce my prenatal ladies in waiting to the goddess Kali. Confronting contractions in labor needs to be something I think that we train for and from my observation, most expectant moms have not trained for labor or even conscious motherhood. This can lead to fear and necessary epidurals and c-sections. Woman that I have coached in yoga for several pregnancies have advocated for the time spent embracing their inner 'no-nonsense' goddess.
Using props like foam rollers, chairs, inflated balls and Aqua Yoga can help build awareness, more comfort in the body and improved sense of what they alone can accomplish in labor and beyond.
Becoming established in breathing effectively is vital!
When we are in the midst of contractions the natural reaction can be to be still, clench the jaw and hope that the intensity will go away. It doesn't of course and gets progressively more intense. We tend to feel more in control from standing but need to develop lots of strength, especially in the legs. At some point, gravity gets the best of us and we need to revert to breathing with a purpose. Think soft face and focus on exhalation with each contraction. Move as much as you can for as long as you can was for me at least a great prescription. We are not in control of when the contractions come (like life circumstances) but absolutely can chose to respond rather than react to each contraction. Riding the wave of intensity can actually be a very spiritual practice that will never be forgotten. I feel so blessed to have felt this as an outer body experience even though it was a hugely challenging physical experience in present moment.
My training under the tutelage of masters (men) needs tweaking in order to share the teachings with women at this very important portal of self-study. This is why I created Prenatal Kriya Yoga. An online study program for women who are pregnant or want to teach yoga to pregnant women.
check out www.prenatalkriyayoga.com for registration details.