Yoga is one of the best ways pregnant women can prepare their bodies for delivery. If you already handle yoga sessions and are now thinking of teaching prenatal yoga, here are a few important things you need to bear in mind.- Know your students beforehand.When you take on the challenge of teaching yoga to pregnant women, you need to know the women who will be under your care so you can take necessary precautions. It is important for you to know if your student has been practicing yoga or if this is a new experience for her.Ask for her health information and any concerns that may affect her practice of yoga. Make sure your student's obstetrician says it is safe for her to join your yoga class.- Make concessions for the demands pregnancy makes on her body.Exercise is good for pregnant women but neither heavy nor prolonged exercise is advisable. This means creating a program and coming up with a time frame that will build their strength, stamina, and muscle tone without unduly stressing their bodies.- Be aware of the stage of your student's pregnancy.The different trimesters of a woman's pregnancy will place changing demands on her body. Knowing the stage of your student's pregnancy will guide you to lead her in the poses she needs to perform. It will also allow you to identify which ones she may need to avoid.- Consciously apply special considerations for a prenatal class.It is important for pregnant women to strengthen their core muscles and their lower back so they can go through their delivery more easily. However, some exercises and some poses should be avoided by pregnant women.During the first trimester of their pregnancy, women should avoid positions that put them on their back for prolonged and strenuous poses. As a teacher, avoid leading your students through movements that can strain or pull sharply at their abdominal muscles.
Between their second and third trimester, women will experience a change in their center of gravity. In case this body change affects their ability to balance, make sure your students have support as they go through their poses.Needless to say, headstands and backbends should not be on the menu while women are pregnant.- Emphasize safe and smooth poses.There are some yoga poses that are safe for pregnant women while effectively strengthening the muscles that will need to work hard during delivery. Make full use of poses that build flexibility and stamina gently such as the side-angle pose (which helps strengthen legs and develop flexibility in the hips), the modified triangle pose (which stretches the shoulders, the legs, and the hips), and the cat-cow pose (which relieves back pain).- Teach your students special techniques.Teach your students to move from the shoulders rather than the waist when they perform poses that require twisting. Show your students how to hinge from the hips and lead with their breastbone instead of their waist when they bend forward.Tell them that if they feel uncomfortable with any pose, they are to gently disengage from that position and avoid it. One of the best precautions you can take while teaching prenatal yoga is to show your students variations or modifications of poses that may prove challenging for them.Pregnant women can derive countless benefits from yoga. In addition to a stronger body, expectant women often find that yoga eases mood swings and helps them acquire a more upbeat attitude towards everything - especially when they are going through the discomfort that sometimes comes with pregnancy.