Thoughts on prenatal yoga 2

Interview about prenatal yoga with Sara who is a yoga practitioner and yoga teacher. Sara is pregnant with her second baby, so I thought it would be interesting to hear her thoughts about yoga and pregnancy. Sara has a blog (mostly in Swedish though 🙂 if you want to see some of her pictures and a glimpse of her practice

So Sara, how long have you been practicing yoga?

About 12 years now.

Did you practice during your first pregnancy? If yes did you practice all the way to delivery?

Yes I did. I took my last class 2 days before my daughter was born.

You are a yoga teacher and have been practicing for years. Have you ever been to a prenatal yoga class or do you just practice at home?

I have taken a few prenatal classes at a studio, but not many. Mostly I’ve been practicing at home, streaming classes online (via yogobe). I do both prenatal or regular classes that I modify according to my body.

What did you like or didn’t like about prenatal classes in a studio?

I like that you are given options of how to modify poses when you are pregnant, I also love them for relaxing/stretch purpose. But in general I find them to be to slow, and that they are offering too little of a physical challenge. I still like to exercise during pregnancy and use yoga partly as a “workout” and I find that part often get lost in prenatal yoga. And you are preparing for the biggest physical challenge of your life, delivery so you need to stay strong during pregnancy!

 Has your practice changed now that you are pregnant again? If yes, how?

Definitely compared to my practice before pregnancy 🙂
Compared to my last pregnancy it has changed a bit but not much. I am more careful with hip-openers this time since I had problems with my hips in my first pregnancy. I do more inversions this time, simply because I have a stronger inversion practice to start with this time around.

 Do you have any pregnancy-related pain? And are you able to use yoga to alleviate the pain?

I do feel my hip-flexors in this pregnancy. Some days it is bad. Yoga does not really help me to be honest, but it does not make it worse either. I do have restless legs syndrome. Doing yoga before I go to bed helps a lot!

Did/do you practice any kind of visualizations, meditations or breathing exercises to prepare your for birth?

Yes! My best practice is putting myself in a physically challenging position. Like sitting with your arms straight out to the sides for 2 minutes (to symbolize the length of a contraction). Then I just practice breathing slowly and in a controlled manner and at the same time relax my pelvis, not focusing on the pain. This helped me a lot for my first delivery! I also practice relaxing breathing, with focus on relaxing my pelvic region, together with the mantra “I am brave and strong”.

Were you able to use these or yoga poses during labor and/or delivery? If yes, in which way?

I used child pose a lot. Had planned to push in Malasana (yogi squat)… Well, lets just say that it didnt happen 🙂

What would you say are the 5 best things about yoga during pregnancy?

– A safe way to stay fit
– It just feels great!
– My body gets stiff during pregnancy, love the “freedom” yoga creates
– A good way to prepare for birth
– A lovely way to connect with your baby

Do you have any advice for pregnant women who are interested in starting yoga during their pregnancy?

DO IT!!! But if you are new to yoga, don’t go free-style! Make sure you practice with a trained prenatal yoga teacher.

Thank you Sara! And good luck with your pregnancy and delivery!