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Things your yoga teacher wants you to tell them (Spoiler alert: It’s not where you bought your yoga pants)

There’s certain things your teacher needs to know so she can keep you and your baby safe during your yoga lesson. Pregnancy and postpartum can bring up a whole host of issues that are labelled as ‘normal’. But just because they’re common issues doesn’t mean it’s something you need to just ‘put up’ with. Oftentimes your teacher can suggest certain poses that might help with the issues you’re experiencing. Yes – there’s literally a yoga pose for everything!!

On the flip side, there’s certain conditions that could be made worse unless you’re under the guidance of an experienced teacher who can tell you how to adjust poses to suit your needs.Whether you’re joining a prenatal yoga class online or in-person, or a mums & bubs yoga class, it’s important you communicate with your teacher.Before your first class we set aside time to chat with you. But if any of the things mentioned in this blog come up during your pregnancy or after a few classes, be sure to mention them to your teacher before class starts.If you’re joining one of our virtual yoga classes the good news is the teacher can see you and interact with you just like in a real class. Online yoga streaming isSo if you have any conditions that need extra guidance from a teacher who really knows what they’re talking about, you’re much better off joining a livestream class rather than following an on-demand instructional video which could cause potential harm.

Before pregnancy yoga, tell your instructor:

How many weeks pregnant you are

Why? There’s certain prenatal yoga poses that it might be better for you to do, or not do, depending on how many weeks pregnant you. For instance, at 34 weeks we ask you to stop lying back in a relaxation pose we call Supported Supta Baddha Konasana. We also ask you to change your pelvic floor work at 36 weeks in preparation for labour.

If you have any pain in your pelvis

Why? Pelvic Girdle Pain affects 1 in 5 women during pregnancy and ranges from mild pain to debilitating pain that keeps you bedridden. If you’re feeling any pain in the front of your pelvis at your Symphysis Pubis (near your vagina) or any pain along the Sacroiliac Joint (where your sacrum at the base of your spine meets the top of your pelvis) please let your teacher know. It’s best if you get this diagnosed properly by a physiotherapist, chiropractor or osteopath who specialises in pregnancy. Ask your yoga teacher if you need a recommendation.Movement therapy (ie. Yoga!) plays an important part in treating this condition. There’s plenty of prenatal yoga poses we can build into the class to assist with building your pelvic strength and your inner thighs (adductors). But there’s also several poses that you need to avoid – particularly anything asymmetrical or too opening.

If you have a low lying placenta

Why? Your placenta is an amazing organ which becomes your baby’s lifeline throughout pregnancy. If your healthcare provider has told you you have a low lying placenta it’s best to avoid any pregnancy yoga poses where the hips come lower than the knees, such as full deep squatting, to prevent putting too much pressure on and damaging the placenta. There’s plenty of other hip openers your yoga teacher can share with you so don’t worry, you won’t miss out!

If you have a baby in breech or posterior position, after 32 weeks

Why? Ideally we want to give baby the best opportunity to descend into the birth canal in the optimal position (anterior). While you can birth a baby in breech or posterior, a posterior labour is usually longer and more uncomfortable, while many healthcare providers aren’t willing or able to oversee a breech birth. So your yoga teacher will be able to assist you with some prenatal yoga poses and tips to help with Optimal Fetal Positioning and also advise you on what you should avoid during class.

If you have high or low blood pressure

Why? Blood pressure changes are normal during pregnancy, causing dizziness. Oftentimes, transitions (coming from sitting to standing, or lying to sitting) make this worse. Poses with the head down also tend to aggravate it. Your yoga teacher will be able to suggest alternatives to avoid triggering your dizziness. After chatting, your teacher may also teach a class with less transitions to help you.

If you have pain in your wrists

Why? Pain in the carpel tunnel is a common complaint caused by swelling/extra fluid pressing against the nerves. Your teacher can help you by building in wrist exercises and give you alternative poses to avoid weight bearing on the wrists.

Before Mums & Bubs yoga, tell your instructor:

If you have abdominal separation, also known as diastasis recti (or if you haven’t checked for this!)

Why? An abdominal separation of 2 fingers is quite normal – it’s nature’s way of making space for your baby and it takes time for your body to heal. Apart from the aesthetic motivation (getting rid of Mummy Tummy), a strong core will prevent back pain and pelvic floor weakness. There’s certain things you can do to help speed up reduction of this gap by safely working the pelvic floor, diaphragm and transverse abdominis. But you’ll also want to avoid any postnatal yoga poses that puts too much stress on your abdominal muscles. Ask your yoga teacher to show you how to check for abdominal separation if you’re not sure.

If you have any issues with your pelvic floor

Why? Pregnancy and birth puts your pelvic floor under enormous strain. If you had a tear that hasn’t healed well, prolapse or incontinence please let your teacher know. She’ll be able to assist you with ideas on how to help heal and postnatal yoga poses to avoid.

This is by no means an exhaustive list! The perinatal period has many, many weird and wonderful symptoms. For pregnancy yoga classes online or in-person, the most important thing is that you keep communication open with your yoga teacher for each and every class. This might mean showing up to class early enough to have a private chat or calling the office beforehand so the notes on your file can be updated. Same goes for mums and bubs yoga classes.While we do our best to remember, your teacher is only human so don’t assume she can remember everything about you. A quick check-in each class is helpful from both sides. One final thing – never feel embarrassed about talking to your teacher! Because we specialise in pregnancy, birth and new mums, trust us, we’ve heard it all before and are here to help you. Our main priority is always to keep you and your baby safe, so we much prefer you to talk to us.

Book a pregnancy yoga class today

Have a fit pregnancy! Book a pregnancy yoga class today

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