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Is Prenatal Yoga Safe?

When you look at that stick and see two pink lines - suddenly, everything changes.


Things that were once safe to eat and drink aren’t anymore, like alcohol and sushi.


Your favorite activities become unsafe - like horseback riding, skiing and skating.


Your doctor tells you it’s safe to keep doing whatever exercise you were doing before, but pregnancy is not the time to pick up something new.


So, is yoga safe?


Yes, prenatal yoga is safe, and it is safe during all three trimesters.


You can start prenatal yoga as soon as you receive a positive pregnancy test. It’s perfectly safe to practice prenatal yoga in your first trimester, but let’s face it: lots of pregnant folks feel pretty sick in the first trimester, so if your body is telling you to rest, rest.


If you skip yoga in your first trimester, you can start in your second trimester, or even during your third trimester. It’s never too late to start. I have had students join my class at 5 weeks, 16 weeks, 27 weeks and 38 weeks. It’s never too early, and it’s never too late.


If you have a normal, low-risk pregnancy, you can practice yoga up until your delivery day! Would you like to hear a story? I was practicing yoga at home when my water broke at nearly 42 weeks.


Some pregnancy conditions and high-risk pregnancies may require that you stop prenatal yoga (and any other kind of exercise) sooner. You don’t have to guess if you’re in that category… your healthcare provider will let you know.


Prenatal yoga is safe, even if you have never practiced yoga before. That is because Prenatal Yoga is designed specifically for the pregnant body. You will learn poses and breathing techniques that are helpful during your pregnancy, and any poses or breathing patterns that have the potential to be harmful (deep backbends, belly-down poses, deep twists, planks and crunches) will not be offered. Don’t worry- in prenatal yoga, you won’t be learning handstands or how to put your leg behind your head.


Your Prenatal Yoga teacher has been trained in how to support your body through all three trimesters, as well as how to troubleshoot common aches and pains like back pain, carpal tunnel and round ligament pain.


While you can trust you will be safe and supported in a Prenatal yoga class, that does not mean you will be safe in any yoga class. Yoga classes for the general public are not specifically designed for the prenatal body, and not all yoga teachers have training in how to support a prenatal student. If you’re lucky, your teacher will have some basic knowledge and be able to offer you modifications for poses that are best to avoid during this period of time. If you’re not lucky, you’ll be left to figure it out for yourself.


If you were practicing yoga before your pregnancy, you can keep going to your favorite yoga class if you want. But if you have never done yoga before, I highly recommend seeking a prenatal-specific class.


Good news! It’s been YEARS since I taught an online Prenatal Yoga class, but on January 28th, I will be teaching a live, online Prenatal Yoga class. All you need is a mat and internet connection- no yoga experience necessary. If you can’t make it live, register anyway! Everyone registered will receive a recording.


Click here to sign up- spots are limited.

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