Prenatal Yoga

I like yoga.  Some days I might even say I love yoga.  I like yoga for many different reasons.  I like yoga because itz considered a “practice.”  There is constantly room for improvement.  Yoga can be done by anyone, beginners to experts.  I like yoga because itz always challenging no matter how often or how seldom I’ve been practicing.  Yoga can be done anywhere for as long or short of a time as you prefer.  In a thirty minute class to a ninety minute class or merely a pose or two in your home.  No matter how old or young you are, you can do yoga.  No matter how fit or not, you can do yoga.

Camel

But I’ve got a confession to make: I didn’t always like yoga.  In fact, for a good amount of time I thought yoga was boring.  I continued to try, class after class, to find a yoga that I liked.  It really wasn’t until I discovered bikram yoga that I began to enjoy yoga.  Bikram was different.  Itz in a 110 degree room, lasts for 90 minutes, the poses are pretty short, and itz the same sequence each and every time.  Not to mention, you always leave a sweaty mess.  I do love bikram yoga, but since I’ve cut working out drastically in order to get pregnant, bikram is no longer in my life.  I know itz just for now, and I know I’ll go back eventually.

bikram

Anyway, to ease back into working out, my doctor suggested I take a prenatal yoga class.  A local hospital offers prenatal yoga classes for extremely inexpensive – four classes for $24.  Really can’t beat that.  I’ve gone three times (one time was cancelled), and honestly… I don’t love it.  I don’t even really like it.  I probably won’t sign up for another session.  I signed up with my pregnant friend, and it weren’t for her or prepaying for all of the classes, I might not have even returned after the first class.

The prenatal yoga classes focused a lot on breathing and relaxation poses and techniques which is supposed to be helpful during labor.  I totally get and respect that, but when I was just three or four months pregnant, labor just wasn’t on my mind.  I was excited for prenatal yoga to get back into working out, to stretch, and maybe work up a sweat.  There was definitely no sweating involved.

We held each pose for many, many breaths.  It was slow-paced which is precisely the type of yoga I don’t typically enjoy.  Also, there was no music.  Honestly, I was bored.  This could definitely just have been this particular class and instructor I attended.  But there aren’t that many options for prenatal yoga, at least that I’ve found, in St. Louis.  Plus, I already pay for a monthly gym membership, so I can’t imagine paying a lot for a different prenatal yoga class.

Audrey yoga

Maybe once my bump grows better and I begin to have more aches and pains or I get closer to labor, I will appreciate the prenatal yoga class more.  Maybe I need to give it another (a fourth) shot because it did take awhile for me to like yoga to begin with.  I want to like it.  I know how important stretching is and working on flexibility and balance, especially while pregnant.  Sure, I stretch and do a couple exercises here and there at home or at the gym, but not as much as an hour long yoga class would provide.  Or maybe I should try a different yoga class that’s not bikram or prenatal.

I definitely don’t want to abandon my yoga practice completely during my pregnancy.  I like the piece of mind it provides and how it makes me feel… as long as it doesn’t bore me.  I need and I want to find that balance again and somehow, some way I will!

Are you a you a yoga fan?  Moms and momma-to-be’s: did you like / participate in prenatal yoga?  Thoughts?  Suggestions?

36 thoughts on “Prenatal Yoga

  1. I hear you- that’s the kind of yoga I don’t enjoy either.. I need more movement and action! But with L, I did find a pregnancy class that was somewhere in between and I really enjoyed it, especially toward the end. So I’d definitely keep looking!

    • Yes, I definitely don’t want to give up on trying prenatal yoga and I think as my pregnancy develops I may like it more.

    • yes def will try again and not give up! i think as my pregnancy progresses i will like it more! for now, i’ll stick to walking and swimming so i can stay active! :)

  2. I know that yogaglo has prenatal classes, including some that are designed for people who had a regular practice before getting pregnant who really want to move. My understanding is those are regular yoga modified to be safe during pregnancy, as opposed to the gentle yoga designed to soothe pregnancy woes that you usually find. They have a two week free trial if you want to check them out!

  3. I was the same way. I went to a prenatal class at 16 weeks, and thought it was a bore. I really didn’t need to modifications they were using, and wanted a tougher workout. Now that I’m 32 weeks, I really appreciate the slow pace and modifications, as well as the focus on labor since I am so much closer to that point.

  4. I am like you, I don’t really like the yoga that is slow. I really want to get into yoga, and I have been saying that for what seems like forever, but I just haven’t got into it yet. I need to find an affordable place that offers yoga that I like, then I think I could get into it.

  5. Ive never been a yoga fan, but I think I could get into hot yoga that was more fast paced like you were talking about! Good luck with the prenatal if you try it again,

  6. I totally get this. I can’t remember exactly how many weeks you are but you can continue to practice in a regular class as long as you feel comfortable and make some modifications. I don’t know about Bikram (since it’s in a heated room) but I continued my vinyasa practice during my first and second trimester. When my bump started getting bigger, the prenatal classes felt much better because I just wanted to move my body and I was just feeling uncomfortable.

    In terms of modifications, after your second trimester, you should lie on your back. Keep twists to open twists vs traditional closed ones and just don’t go too deep. I would suggest no super backbends or inversions but I know lots of women who happily and safely continued their inversion practice while pregnant. When you’re pregnant, you’re also prone to hypermobility so be sure to engage your muscles to support your body in the posture, especially around your knees and pelvis, and don’t go super deep. Also there are some pranayama practices that are contraindicated for pregnant women. I sure you know a lot of this already and I definitely am not suggesting you do or not do certain things. It depends on where you are with your practice and what you’re comfortable with.

  7. Ditto. I did prenatal all through y first pregnancy and was bored during most of it until later on. I’d still like to do it now, but don’t have any nearby options and have difficulty committing to online videos that usually tend to bore me, too.

    I miss the hot, sweaty intense yoga!

  8. i have a confession, i only really like hot yoga. I know, shame on me. But it’s the movement and sweat. But i do thing prenatal helps you more mentally and good prep, yes???

    • Girl, no shame on you! That’s exactly how I feel! And yes I think prenatal yoga will be more beneficial in the next coming months with labor and delivery soon approaching!

  9. I have to admit, I’m the exact opposite. I’m not a fan of yoga as a workout at all, but rather do it for my mind and sanity. I’ve been struggling to find a gentle hatha yoga class since moving to San Diego, most classes I’ve found so far are sweaty vinyasa/power yoga classes.

    • Really? Well, everyone is different! :) :) I feel like in San Diego you’d have TONS of options! I bet you’ll fine one you like and maybe reach out on Twitter and ask for suggestions from locals?

      • I should probably have said, I’m struggling to find a class that is close AND works with my schedule. I know there are a bunch more studios 45 min away from us, but I can’t justify that drive when I have a 2 year old waiting at home.

  10. I’m with you girl. I love the idea of yoga more than I actually like yoga. I take a BodyFlow (LesMills) class once a week. I find it fast paced (for a yoga class) and combines Tai Chi and Pilates. I let my instructor know I was pregnant and she is great about modifying the program for me.
    I also heard hot yoga is a no-no while pregnant. Good thing I don’t particularly care for it anyway ;) Good luck!

    • Yeah I know some people continue with hot yoga, but since my workouts were cut so drastically, it was definitely off limits for me! I wish my gym offered Les Mills classes!!

  11. I practiced Hatha yoga daily during my two pregnancies (in the ’70’s)….modifying poses as needed as the pregnancies progressed…..and I’m sure it contributed to making my labors short and the deliveries very easy. I was able to do both labors ‘natural’…..my first labor only lasted four hours and my second labor was less than two hours!

    Pilates would be very good during pregnancy, too. There are some pregnant women in some of the classes at the studio where I take classes…..Premier Pilates St. Louis…..a beautiful studio in Sunset Hills: http://www.premierpilatesstlouis.com .

  12. I have not liked Yoga but I’ve only done DVDs I am going to try some classes and see if I like it better with an instructor. Even though it’s been many years, I’ve never had one of the prenatal fitness classes at any of the local hospitals to be good. Or entertaining. Or anything. My daughter has felt the same way. She just does her Wii when she’s pregnant (and actually when she’s not).

    I’m going to be taking a Hatha yoga in Chesterfield. I don’t know enough about Yoga to know if that is something that will work while you are pregnant.

  13. Oh, sorry you didn’t like it! I hope you find something when you are near your due date that will focus on things that will be helpful for labor, maybe you will be in a different space then. I am a former midwife. I’d say two of the important things for pregnancy with yoga would be not lying on your back (when you are bigger) and not over-stretching your joints– they will naturally become more flexible with the pregnancy hormones.

  14. I am 15 weeks pregnant and I use the elliptical and occasionally lift weights. Since I spend so much time resting because of exhaustion, I decided to do yoga once a week to stretch my muscles. I don’t like it for weight loss or as my only source of exercise in a day but I do it to hopefully be able to bounce back easier after the baby.

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