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.