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Normal yoga classes during pregnancy?

(19 Posts)
MabelMay Fri 11-Apr-14 18:27:52

Hi all,

I'm 10 weeks pregnant and normally do quite a lot of yoga but I abandoned it completely when I found out I was pregnant (after two MCs last year, during which I carried on with exercise as usual I've become a little paranoid - although I know exercise doesn't 'cause' MC).

Now that I'm feeling more secure in this PG I'd really like to go back to my normal yoga class - but does anyone know if there are certain things I shouldn't do? Are downward dogs okay? I know headstands and inversions are out.

I don't want to do a pregnancy yoga class yet as a) they're pretty slow-moving and I'm only 10 weeks pg b) I don't want anyone else to know I'm pregnant yet! So I don't even want to tell the instructor I'm pregnant.

Is anyone else doing normal yoga classes in early pregnancy and carrying on as usual? If you've modified your yoga practice, how have you changed it?

Thanks for advice in advance!

VaselineOnToast Fri 11-Apr-14 18:30:57

I've been to a couple of normal yoga classes that pregnant women also attended. The teacher would give special instructions to the pregnant ladies to ensure they didn't cause themselves harm and such.

I would just advise the instructor that you're pregnant and ask them if they would be able to accommodate you. You might not be able to do certain postures that involve using abdominal muscles, twisting around, etc.

ohthegoats Fri 11-Apr-14 18:34:51

I told the instructors, they gave me some alternatives.

MabelMay Fri 11-Apr-14 18:38:55

Thanks Vaseline and goats. I guess I've got this stupid superstition about telling the instructor when I'm pretty early along, just given my history. But maybe I should get over it.
What kind of alternatives were you given ohthegoats? I also like to do stuff at home so would help with my private practice.
Are downward dogs considered okay? I don't know why but that's the one position I want to be sure of as use it so much but the mild inversion for some reason makes me a little paranoid - but I'd love to be able to continue fairly normally...

Hedgehog1977 Fri 11-Apr-14 18:40:39

I started back at yoga at 13 weeks, 3 weeks ago. My teacher is lovely and she has explained what I should avoid, but also said because your ligaments are quite stretchy, take care not to stretch too far in any position. She gives me alternatives to those I can't do - for example while everyone else does dog, I lay on the floor with my feet on a chair! And I don't have to do plank either grin

She recommended I started a pregnancy yoga class in my 3rd trimester, as they concentrate on breathing etc.


MabelMay Fri 11-Apr-14 18:48:22

Thanks Hedgehog. Ah, so maybe downward dogs aren't okay for us? Did your instructor tell you why to lie on the floor with feet on chair instead of doing a dd? Hmmm - the class I like is quite hardcore - maybe I should try a slightly gentler class - it might be a bit much by the sounds of feedback so far.
And maybe I should wait until I'm in the 2nd trimester like you did Hedgehog... just miss it a lot and feeling very out of shape.

ohthegoats Fri 11-Apr-14 18:54:16

I'm still doing dd, although found sometimes being light headed. I was given alternatives for anything that involved being on stomach, and same with the overstretching. I'm still going to body pump and normal gym stuff, but don't do any abs - no plank (secret yay).

mrsmonkey14 Fri 11-Apr-14 23:26:48

If it helps we do plenty of downward dog in my antenatal yoga so not sure why you wouldn't? (Unless u feel dizzy, obvs). Could u maybe turn up early to tell instructor but make clear it's still secret so they don't call it out to rest of class? At my gym the instructors will just pretend u have an injury/ niggle.

Just go at your own pace and stop if anything feels weird. I'm also still doing basic plank at 28 wks and I just avoid abs work where you twist to the side. I love doing yoga while pregnant, find it very relaxing. As someone else said, do be careful not to over stretch as u may become super flexible due to hormones and risk pulling a muscle. Enjoy your practice and congrats on the pregnancy!

icklekid Sat 12-Apr-14 04:23:10

I think it's important that if you do go back you let the instructor know- or read up a lot on pregnancy yoga so you know what is ok/not...

Hedgehog1977 Sat 12-Apr-14 07:08:37

I think I was told not to do downward dog because it could cause dizziness. The position I do instead is basically the same, but upside down! It's a very gentle class, it's why I like it grin I've also started taking a couple of cushions, which help me be a bit more comfortable. And I tried to be close to the teacher so it's not so obvious she's giving me different positions (although everyone knows now so it doesn't matter). The thing I find hardest is laying on my back as I keep getting a trapped nerve in my bum!

whereisshe Sat 12-Apr-14 07:38:48

From what I gathered from my pregnancy yoga, there are a number of things to watch out for:
- lightheadedness, especially in the first trimester, so be careful in any position where your head is upside down
- dehydration, as your body is making a lot of extra fluid
- over-stretching, as the relaxin makes all of your ligaments stretch and you can hurt yourself
- using your external stomach muscles (this applies throughout not just to yoga) ie sit ups type motion - it can make your stomach muscles separate. You need to do log rolls when sitting up etc.
- once the baby has engaged (third trimester at some point) nothing upside down, inversions are ok before that

whereisshe Sat 12-Apr-14 07:41:59

Oh, forgot - no lying on your back once the baby gets big enough to press on your inferior vena cava vein in your spine, it can cut off blood supply to you and the baby.

picklesrule Sat 12-Apr-14 07:55:27

Hiya! I am a yoga are fine to keep doing yoga but you must tell your instructor you are pregnant. Hardcore exercise is fine if it's what you have been doing but there are a few things to watch out for:
No closed twists esp in the first trimester so for example triangle pose is fine, revolved triangle is not.
Be careful you don't over stretch. If you feel yourself going further than you usually can stop there. Your hormones make you stretchier but you are likely to hurt yourself.
Don't hold any pose for too long, and once you get a bit bigger move through plank quickly rather than holding it.

Don't worry about telling the instructor but please do they should know what they are doing and be able to guide you and they need to know just in case you faint if nothing else!!


Heatherbell1978 Sat 12-Apr-14 08:35:46

I'm also a devoted yogi and was hugely into Bikram before I fell pregnant. I've given that up but I also had a m/c last year so I decided to follow the advice I'd read that you shouldn't do any yoga until you're 13 weeks. When I contacted a lot of pregnancy yoga places they confirmed that and I couldn't start my antenatal yoga until then. I've tried a few antenatal yoga places are some are a bit tame, more of a support group I guess, but I've found a place that does class and challenging. I'm 22 wks and with my expanding belly I would struggle in a normal class anyway; you should check out antenatal yoga.

Sleepwhenidie Sat 12-Apr-14 08:41:30

There's a pg lady in my Bikram class...I have to admit I was a bit shock when I saw her, I'm definitely all in favour of continuing with what you are used to when pg (with necessary tweaks) and she's clearly a regular doing the class with adjustments but I'd be concerned about the heat/dehydration aspect of Bikram. Pickles what is your view?

RaRa1988 Sat 12-Apr-14 12:06:20

I've been doing normal classes - my instructor just makes the odd adjustment for me. The last class I did, at 30 weeks, was a bit tough as I'm now feeling rather heavy and cumbersome so I don't think I'll go back - I just don't feel that I can get that much out of it now and my flexibility has reduced as I've got a reasonable bump now. Funnily enough, I still manage two hours of pilates with no problems whatsoever so maybe it depends on the sort of exercises your instructor focuses on, and your body shape as well.

MabelMay Sat 12-Apr-14 17:33:40

Hey guys - thanks all of you for your feedback and info - it's all really helpful thanks. It sounds like I might be better off waiting a few weeks until I'm in my 2nd trimester, at 13 weeks. Then I'll probably feel more comfortable telling the instructor anyway and will be less anxious generally.
Good to hear dd is okay, as long as they don't make you feel faint.
And I guess I'll try to be my own guide - if something feels like too much, e.g., I'll stop. The class I was doing before pregnancy may be little too hardcore, so I'll look for gentler alternatives.
Thanks everyone!

picklesrule Sun 13-Apr-14 00:18:16

I would avoid bikram in pregnancy I think.. The overheating would be a concern. Also you are even more at risk of over stretching when in hot room. You can get all the benefits (and more I think, but I am not a huge fan of bikram!) doing other styles of yoga.
You should be ok to carry on with the exercise levels you did pre pregnancy just keeping an eye on your breathing etc
Yoga can be fantastic for teaching you to breathe properly and connect with your body, I found it really helpful in my labours.

magichamster Sun 13-Apr-14 00:27:39

I did a normal yoga class right the way though my second pregnancy - although it was a fairly tame class! The teacher gave me a yoga in pregnancy book which had loads of adaptations in it. If you have a chat with the teacher I'm sure she'll have loads of advice for you - between you I'm sure you can come up with an injury as a reason you're doing things slightly differently so the rest of the class don't know - but you should tell the instructor.

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