Why am I so passionate about Prenatal Yoga?

I’d like to tell you a bit about my experiences of prenatal yoga with both my children. As a yoga teacher with a strong home practice, when I became pregnant with my first child I was of course absolutely over the moon. Even as a teacher, I was not really sure what was safe, as there are so many different people saying and doing so many different things during the prenatal period. Becoming pregnant is quite overwhelming for some people as it is. The main reason why Yoga Classes (even the Prenatal Classes), which are specifically designed for pregnant women, do not allow women to attend before 12 or 14 weeks of pregnancy is because of the high rate of miscarriage in this period. Unfortunately, this is also a time that women find particularly difficult because of the culture of ‘keeping it a secret’ until you’ve past the 12 week mark and there are a lot of different reasons for this, including insecurity at work as well as the concern of loss.

It’s quite scary being pregnant for the first time as you don’t want to do anything that would be detrimental to this amazing process called conception and new life! A lot of women like me, just stop their previous yoga practice out of fear, (or being kicked out of your regular class). Asking yourself "‘Why am I not allow to attend?” and thinking the worst. Its really quite off putting. A lot of women suffer from nausea and extreme exhaustion in the first trimester, so going to a yoga class may not be on top of your to do list anyway.

I was lucky enough to meet an absolutely wonderful Prenatal teacher called Clare who really inspired me to learn more about how amazing a prenatal yoga class could be, because I was experiencing first hand how wonderful it was to practice a different type of yoga which was purely focussed on my changing body and connecting with my baby. I started to read about the very inspirational Uma Dinsmore-Tuli and found her work absolutely mind blowing.

I recently had the honour of spending five days training with this magnificent woman, which has left me feeling so full of knowledge and joy for this very special time in a mothers life. Uma is an absolute legend.

When you become an expectant mum, your body and mind is going through so much, being in supportive presence of other pregnant mums is a great remedy for anxiety. Deep relaxation, especially forms of yoga nidra which facilitate bonding time with the baby are also really nourishing. Prenatal yoga is different from a regular class as the postures are there is more emphasis on building strength in preparation for birth, as well as grounding practices and deep rest for rejuvenation.

My experience of using yoga and pranayama (breathing) during both my labours was a huge help, and helped me to get through a very very long labour, and a labour which was very unexpectedly fast. Both came with their own challenges and I’m happy to say that the techniques I learned have stayed with me, and have been really handy postnatally too.

My prenatal classes start on Friday 2nd November at 5.45pm - 7pm at the studio. Please contact me by email at wendy@yogayoga.love to discuss when is suitable for you to begin. I do allow women to attend during the first trimester if you already have a regular yoga practice. If you are new to yoga, it is best to wait until you have reached 12 weeks.