GUIDELINES FOR SAFE PRACTICE
We follow the guidelines of the Bliss Baby Yoga Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training.
During yoga practice, we recommend the following:
- No strong closed twists though gentle twists are very beneficial (cross-leg twists and open twists are okay).
- Avoid abdominal contractions (ab exercises) – any poses that don’t feel good!
- Avoid any strain to your pelvic area (especially in first trimester).
- No strong backbends (or at least stop by the last 2 months - for experienced students only).
- No prone poses (from 2nd trimester onwards).
- Avoid lying on the back for prolonged periods of time, particularly from the 2nd Trimester onwards. Some women may feel faint or uncomfortable as it can cause ‘vena cava compression’. The Inferior vena cava is the major vein returning blood from the lower extremities and abdomen to the heart. The pressure on the vein can prevent blood from returning to the heart – decreasing mother’s oxygen supply and that of the baby’s. Left Side-Lying Savasana (in theory) is recommended due to the vena cava being located on the right side of the body so this position will increase blood flow back to the heart. If your student would prefer to practice Savasana on the right side then trust her bodies’ wisdom and intuition.
- Avoid active inversions particularly if the student is inexperienced, and even then, follow intuition if it doesn’t feel good. If practicing, it is advisable stop by the last 2 months/ 6 weeks of pregnancy.
- Hold standing one-leg balance poses for no longer than 30 seconds to avoid excessive pressure on the veins of the standing leg.
- Don’t over-exert/ raise heart rate. Avoid staying in standing poses for too long as the pulse rate is already increased.
- Don’t over-stretch – Relaxin.
- Avoid holding poses for extended period of time. Standing motionless for prolonged poses can decrease the blood flow to the uterus and cause venous pooling (blood to pool in the legs.) This can cause dizziness. To avoid this, switch positions more frequently.
- Move from lying or seated positions slowly and carefully because as pregnancy progresses, the centre of gravity shifts. Also your blood pressure changes so getting up quickly may cause dizziness (i.e. low blood pressure).