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Hi! I want to do yoga to help baby get in a better position, improve my balance, relaxation, etc., this pregnancy. I have a gym membership, and they just have a "gentle yoga" class. They don't have anything specifically for pregnant ladies, so I have to do my own modifications. For those of you who are yoga experts, what should I modify? No lying on the back or the tummy, I presume. But what should I occupy myself while they do such things? What would I not get from a not-specifically pg-oriented yoga class?
 

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I don't know enough about yoga to advise on how to do your own modifications, but I would say that having done both regular yoga and prenatal yoga, the prenatal had so many things that pertained specifically to the pregnant woman, as you mentioned, we did poses to try to encourage the baby to stay in position (avoid turning in the posterior position), we got lots of tips about breathing/focusing techniques that could be used in labour, we did stretches for strengthening muscles in preparation for birth etc. The instructor modified the poses but still made the class physically challenging. For these reasons, I would suggest trying to find a specific prenatal class, it's so worth it.
 

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<div style="font-style:italic;">....having done both regular yoga and prenatal yoga, the prenatal had so many things that pertained specifically to the pregnant woman... for these reasons, I would suggest trying to find a specific prenatal class, it's so worth it.</div>
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If you're reluctant to seek out a new class (I can see how this one, at your existing gym, might be preferable to going somewhere else), I would also recommend speaking with the instructor for the gentle yoga class, to find out his/her experience with yoga and pregnancy. It could be that s/he has taught prenatal yoga before, or is comfortable/knowledgeable about the topic enough to be able to suggest modifications during class.
 

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It'll depend on how far along you are. I taught pilates until I was 18 weeks, and was basically able to everything without modification until that point. Of course, yoga's different, but I wouldn't think you'd need to modify much until the 2nd trimester (at the earliest). After that, I would just do whatever is comfortable. If it still feels fine, it should be fine. If you bring a pillow or something with you to prop up your head and shoulders, you can probably lie on your back for short periods of time if a pose calls for that (again, as long as you feel fine)<br>
Prenatal yoga would be awesome, of course, if you can find it, but lots of pregnant women do regular yoga all the way through their pregnancies and swear by it.<br>
If the instructor can't recommend modifications, you could just relax in a child's pose or do some other stretch or pose that you like when everyone else is on their bellies or backs.
 

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We don't have a prenatal instructor in my small community, but because of that, the instructors (they teach Gentle Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Gentle Stretch and Hatha Yoga) have experience with numerous pregnant clients taking their classes. I asked each instructor before attending if they were comfortable with having me in their class and if they had experience modifying poses.<br><br>
I was able to attend a prenatal class out-of-town, so that I could get an idea of how I could incorporate breathing techniques, visualizations, and how to utilize props (blocks, those rectangular blocks, multiple blankets and chair). It was very helpful. I've also used these websites:<br><br><a href="http://www.prenatalyogacenter.com/cmps_index.php?page=free-yoga-videos" target="_blank">Prenatal Yoga Center</a> has several free online videos<br><br><a href="http://www.intuitiveflow.com/guidance/prenatal_yoga.html" target="_blank">Yoga for Pregnancy</a> has about 15 poses, described with pictures<br><br><a href="http://www.thesecretsofyoga.com/yoga-for-women/Kundalini-Yoga-Set-for-Pregnancy.html" target="_blank">Kundalini Yoga Set for Pregnancy</a> description of poses with pictures<br><br><br>
Also, I've begun swimming and it is fantastic! I feel so good afterwards. I have found some great YouTube video's done by Birthlight Aqua Yoga that shows how to do some prenatal aquatic exercises and some aquatic yoga poses. Very cool.<br><br><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkVvguSkYc4&feature=related" target="_blank">Birthlight Aqua Yoga Introduction</a><br><br><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiNlaeuyESc&playnext_from=TL&videos=uEMeR_Jt2z8" target="_blank">Fluid Sequences</a><br><br><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7S7C3pvII_M&playnext_from=TL&videos=m5QQkD-5Rjk" target="_blank">Relaxing in Water</a><br><br><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bq7cUi4R3RE&feature=related" target="_blank">Swimming Stretches</a><br><br><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhzDRXFHlG8&feature=related" target="_blank">Adapted Swimming Strokes</a><br><br><br>
Hope that helps and Good Luck with your practice!
 

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To get the benefit, if you aren't into yoga already, I would recommend trying a couple classes at a yoga studio if possible, even if it's not prenatal yoga. That way you'll be sure you are using good form and getting some good instruction. Gym yoga, in my experience, is not the best place to learn. At least at the 2 gyms I tried it, the teachers didn't tell anyone if they were doing it wrong, and the people in the class were all over the place - and mostly pushing themselves too far and doing things wrong and potentially dangerously.<br><br>
Otherwise... poses not recommended during pregnancy are anything flat on the back, or inversions. Other than that, you just spread your legs a little more to make room for your belly as needed! And be careful of overextending your hips.<br><br>
The biggest thing to remember in yoga is to pay attention to yourself, and only do things if they are comfortable. Don't push yourself. It's meant to be a lifelong practice and you have loads of time to improve on your poses.<br>
Some of the best poses in pregnancy are super easy though, and I don't know that they would do them in regular classes - cat/cow for example - I'm sure you can google it. Oh yep, I found it here: <a href="http://yoga.about.com/od/yogasequences/ss/catcow.htm" target="_blank">http://yoga.about.com/od/yogasequences/ss/catcow.htm</a>. The prenatal yoga instructor I had with my 1st pregnancy said it helps with stretch marks because it stretches your belly skin a little, and you should do some each day.<br><br>
Bethany
 

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<div style="font-style:italic;">Hi! I want to do yoga to help baby get in a better position, improve my balance, relaxation, etc., this pregnancy. I have a gym membership, and they just have a "gentle yoga" class. They don't have anything specifically for pregnant ladies, so I have to do my own modifications. For those of you who are yoga experts, what should I modify? No lying on the back or the tummy, I presume. But what should I occupy myself while they do such things? What would I not get from a not-specifically pg-oriented yoga class?</div>
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I would be careful with twisting. What you can do instead is to sit with your legs wide open and lean back. Twist gently to the right and place the right had behind you and the left hand on your thigh. Repeat the other side.<br><br>
It's okay to be on your tummy and back as long as YOU feel okay with it. Obviously after a certain point in your pregnancy it won't be comfortable. During svasana you can lay to one side and relax that way.<br><br>
Also, in standing poses like tadasana or seated poses like paschimottanasana (look them up on the interwebz if you don't know those Sanskrit names off hand) keep the legs open a little wider than hip width distance.<br><br>
With child's pose, you can modify that by opening you legs wider to accommodate your swelling belly.<br><br>
When the rest of the class is doing something you don't feel comfortable with, do something that your body is telling you to. You could do cat/cow. One really great pose for pregnant ladies is Ardha Chandrasana (look it up) - you can be with your body up against the wall for that one.<br><br>
Hope that helps a little.
 

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This is really great, thanks! I am going to look up the poses I don't know, and those links look really helpful. It's true that the instructors here don't pay a ton of attention to whether people are doing it right. I have taken one beginner's class at a yoga studio, so I at least know the correct form for the basic poses. The instructor for this gentle yoga class didn't seem to have experience with pregnant women. I did cat/cow while they were doing the back twist stretch (sorry, don't remember the name). Thanks for the tips on other poses to use while they do things I can't! I'm definitely bringing a pillow next time!<br><br>
I'm definitely interested in learning poses that will prevent posterior position (DS was OP and I never want to experience that again if I can avoid it), and for the same reason, do not plan to lie on my back at all. FYI, I'm 20 weeks. So if anything pertains in particular to baby position, I'm all ears!<br><br>
Thanks again!
 
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