Are you pregnant or do you know someone who is? If so, pregnancy yoga could be just the thing. Pregnancy yoga classes are one of the few forms of exercise widely acknowledged by healthcare professionals to be safe and effective during pregnancy – gentle enough to protect you and your baby but dynamic enough to provide your body with the essential workout it needs.
Suitable for women in their second trimester (14 weeks) and beyond, each class will have an emphasis on building strength in your body to ensure you are in optimum health for birthing your baby and beyond. It can also help to ease some of the physical discomfort women experience during pregnancy.
The physical element of a pregnancy yoga class is just one part of the practice, however. Each class will introduce you to different labour positions, breathing techniques and forms of natural pain relief, providing you with a toolkit of aids to help during the birth of your baby. Classes aim to provide you with a different perspective on the labour experience, helping to take away some of the fear and anxiety you may be feeling. For this reason, many women find pregnancy yoga to be an empowering experience as they begin to prepare for the arrival of their little one.
Pregnancy yoga can be a deeply calming experience and provides your body with the much-needed relaxation it needs. Light meditation is part of every class and provides you with the opportunity to take time to connect to your baby during this special time of your life.
- A safe and effective form of exercise
- Building strength in the body
- Easing some of the physical discomfort of pregnancy
- Promoting better sleep
- Aiding circulation
- Offering the chance to connect to your baby
- Learning new breathing techniques and birthing positions
- Empowering you on your journey to motherhood
- Relaxing and calming the body and mind
- Making friends with other pregnant women in the local area
- Anyone from their 2nd trimester (14 weeks) onwards. It is safe to practice all the way through to labour.
- It’s never too late to begin taking a pregnancy yoga class and you can come along at any point in your 2nd and 3rd trimester.
- Check in with your midwife or doctor to ensure you are fit and healthy and able to safely participate in class.
As of the beginning of May 2016, Susie will be taking a temporary break from teaching while she welcomes her first child in to the world. She hopes to resume teaching again in 2017. Keep checking back here for all the latest news on when and where teaching will resume for follow her Facebook page.
To give you an idea of here class, her old class schedule was as follows:
MONDAY, 7PM – 8PM, at The Studio in Leighton Buzzard…
- A six week course costs £45 or you can drop-in for £9 per class at The Studio in Leighton Buzzard.
WEDNESDAY, 6PM – 7PM, at YogaBuddy Studio in Wolverton, Milton Keynes…
- A six week course costs £55 or you can drop-in for £10 per class at YogaBuddy Studio in Wolverton.
WEEK 1: Creating Space
Week one will kick off with an introduction to pregnancy yoga, explaining why we do it and what one can achieve from a regular pregnancy yoga practice. The class will focus on creating space in both the body and mind. Physically this will be done through a sequence of side stretches, heart openers and torso lengtheners – aiding organ health and tackling any feelings of claustrophobia a woman may experience as her bump grows. Mentally, the class will help with feelings of stress and anxiety associated with pregnancy, labour and motherhood. The idea is to give women some headspace!
WEEK 2: Birthing Breath
The second week will introduce women to the world of birthing breath. Breath to calm the mind and breath to help you through the contractions. Techniques such as Golden Thread breath (also known as feather breath) and Humming Bee breath will be practiced, as well as encouraging women to embrace deeper earthier tones and noises during contractions. These breathing techniques will continue to be used at various points across the rest of the course to ensure they feel more instinctive during childbirth.
WEEK 3: Building Strength and Stamina
Developing strength and stamina during pregnancy has some fantastic benefits, both in terms of the labour experience and becoming a new mother. This class will be higher in energy and will focus on building strength in the body in a safe and effective way. As well as a warrior sequence and some squats, there will also be pilates based floor work for legs, glutes and thighs. This class aims to reinforce the notion that a pregnant woman is a strong woman, both physically and mentally.
WEEK 4: Natural Pain Management
This week will encourage women to understand a little bit more about managing pain during childbirth, notably using the breath. There will be several exercises to practice managing pain – such as kneeling with your toes tucked under and breathing through the pain for 1-2 minutes. Participants will be reminded that breath and centering your mind inwards is the key to managing the pain of childbirth. The class will also come back to some of the breathing methods practiced during week 2.
WEEK 5: The Pelvic Floor
The focus of week five is to introduce women to their pelvic floor muscles. There will be an education element to establish why it is so important to practice your pelvic floor exercises, particularly after childbirth, and during the class we will work to isolate the pelvic floor stage-by-stage. This will be practiced several times throughout the class to ensure the participants are clear on where their pelvic floor is located and how to exercise this area.
WEEK 6: Relax & Restore
The final week of the course will provide an altogether more relaxing and meditative experience. The focus is to release feelings of anxiety and to encourage pure relaxation. The class will open with alternate nostril breathing and will end with a pregnancy-related guided meditation. The practice will be slow and smooth, working through a Vinyasa-style sequence to relax and calm the mind. The course will end with the aim of leaving participants feeling relaxed, revived and empowered.