Ask the Yoga Instructor: Tips for Prenatal Yoga

[As published in Corcoran News via Corcoran Neighborhood Organization,  S. Minneapolis,  Feb. 2017]

Greetings from your friendly neighborhood yoga instructor & owner of Imbue Yoga on 35th street. I am thrilled to offer some yogic insights. If you have a yoga-related question,  I will do my best to answer.  Please email questions to imbueyoga@gmail.com and perhaps you’ll be featured!

Q:  I just found out that I’m pregnant!  My doctor suggested I try yoga.  Do you have any tips to start while expecting? 

A:  First of all,  CONGRATULATIONS!  That is wonderful news and I wish you the happiest of pregnancies!  Prenatal yoga can be a great addition to your routine not only to welcome the changes in your body but also to soothe some of those heightened emotions.  

My teacher always said “The baby has the real estate” – herein lies my first tip:  leave LOTS of space for your baby in all of your movements.  Refrain from anything laying on your belly, keep your twists open and try not to do any strengthening of the abdominals as you want them to be supple for your growing baby. Also note that your body is flowing with a hormone called relaxin that makes you more flexible than usual – exciting,  however be careful not to stretch too far!  Also if you have any numbness in fingers while resting on your back,  be sure to roll to your side to rest (probably best always to rest on your side in the 2nd-3rd trimesters).  

A simple vinyasa (flow) practice for you:  Start on hands and knees (table pose),  knees wider than hips.  Exhale sinking your hips down towards your heels.  Rest your head on the mat or a pillow (childs pose).  Slow down your breathing and feel the awe that you are now breathing for two.  On an inhale,  float back to table pose,  tuck your toes under,  press into your hands, lift your knees up as you shift your hips up and back (downward facing dog).  Keeping your wrists and arms straight,  feel length from fingertips to tailbone, tailbone to heels, keeping your knees soft.  Breathe 3-6 breaths feeling strength,  release, and freedom.  Inhale, lower knees,  exhale slowly back to childs pose.  Rest.  Repeat as many times as you like.  When resting,  feel your heart(s) beating,  your breath flowing,  invite gratitude and wonder.  

Prenatal Yoga drop in classes are every Sunday at noon.  On the first Sunday of every month,  we welcome Mehndi Moments Henna artist Amy Leinen who gives all attendees complimentary henna tattoos after class if they want!    

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