A regular yoga practice is one of the best ways to nurture your health and your growing baby. Physically, you will keep all the right muscles strong and supple in order to prepare for a healthy pregnancy and delivery. Psychologically, you will build the patience, gentleness and confidence that will help you be the best mother you can be.

But what about the heat?

Pregnant women are often advised to stay away from hot tubs, so naturally you might feel tentative about hot yoga. The reason hot tubs are a no-go for expecting moms is that your body is not able to effectively regulate its temp when you are submerged in hot water, so the concern is that your core temperature will rise to a level unsafe for baby. But in hot yoga class, your body is able to cool itself by the evaporation of the sweat off your skin, meaning that your core temperature will not rise significantly. Many women have tested this by bringing a thermometer into class and found it to hold true. Some moms-to-be feel the need for extra cool air during class. If this is you, we welcome you to set up in front of our lobby door so that you can come and go as you need to.

What can I expect during class?

Your body and your baby are changing and growing daily, so of course your yoga practice will be very different daily too. Physical balance may be more of a challenge, you will enjoy some added flexibility, you might tire more easily, etc. Every lady is different! In general it is immensely healthy for your body to sweat and for your muscles to stretch and relax. Especially during pregnancy, it is important to listen to your body’s (and your baby’s) messages and rest whenever and however much you need to.

I know my yoga practice helped me have the confidence to go through an induction without pain medicine, breathe through the contractions, have the core strength for pushing and the endurance for a long labor. I had a lot of experienced mothers tell me that giving birth is like taking your longest, hottest Bikram class ever. They were right! In class your mantra is "lock the knee" but in labor it's "like a flower petal blooming."

Lisa ZelemDBY instructor

“Practicing during my pregnancy made such a difference to my body and my mindset. It’s a small way to remind yourself that while you’re temporarily hosting another being, your body is still your own in a small way - and it felt great!”

Jessica BennettDBY Student

How do I start?

We can start by meeting with you one-on-one to show you the pregnancy postures. Then let us know when you plan to practice and one of our instructors will practice the pregnancy poses next to you in a class so you have someone to look at. We also have pregnancy series cheat sheets behind the desk that you are welcome to bring into class for as long as you need to. We highly recommend you purchase Rajashree’s book on the pregnancy series for a more detailed look at the benefits and special modifications. Books are available for sale at the studio.

Nursing and Postpartum Practice

After baby is born, continue to listen to your body in the yoga room. It is recommended to wait until 6 weeks postpartum before resuming yoga. Your doctor or midwife will give you a check up after 6 weeks and most likely clear you for exercise but if you still don’t feel ready take your time getting back to yoga. When you are ready, continue practicing the pregnancy series for three months postpartum because your body is healing and changing so much during this time. Avoid the situps especially if you have been diagnosed with diastasis recti (a seperation between the two sides of the six pack muscles very common during pregnancy and postpartum) in you postpartum check up.
If nursing, continue to do the pregnancy postures and belly up Savasanas in place of the Spine Strengthening series to avoid laying on your chest. This will protect your milk supply. The cells in your breasts that make milk respond to pressure. For example, if you skip a feeding and develop engorgement the pressure in your breasts tell the cells to stop making milk. In the yoga room, if you put pressure on your breasts by lying belly down it sends the same signal to the milk making cells. After your milk supply is established and you don’t have any discomfort laying on your stomach you can begin to add the Beginning Series postures back in. Many women feel good in certain postures sooner than others and wait to add those particular ones back in. Lactating women already need extra water to produce milk so be sure to drink even more on days you exercise or practice in heat to protect your supply.
Remember, this isn’t an all or nothing practice. Do what you can and be compassionate and patient with yourself! Often the processes of pregnancy, birth and nursing are the most dramatic changes to take place in a woman’s body and things aren’t likely to feel like they did before for a while.