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Why we do not want a pregnant mother on her back…

I get asked this question so often in my Prenatal Teacher Training workshops.The reason is, the weight of the baby in the placenta can cause pressure on the vein, vena cava, and possibly restrict the flow to the baby.Remember in a yoga class we are using a thin  mat on a hard floor, but at home they might be fine on a bed since a mattress will absorb some of the weight.  This is a hot topic for debate among some, so to be on the safe side I just say lets stay off our backs.

There are so many exercises that you can do in prenatal yoga that do not involve getting on the back and yet have great results. A pregnant mother can benefit from such asana as warrior, tree, squats, lunges, seated floor work, hip rotations and even savasana. Modified savasana is one of my student’s favorite asana to practice. Most pregnant woman are stressed for various reasons and to be able to enjoy a guided meditation or just a body scan savasana, is worth gold to them. But, back to the active practice, as long as the pregnant moms are not inverted, unsupported or going beyond their normal range of motion they can find very valuable benefits from a Prenatal Yoga session.

Relaxin (and no that’s not slang for chillin’) is the hormone that penetrates the joints and ligaments so that there is a greater amount of flexibility during the birth. The hormone is produced about 6 weeks into the pregnancy and last after the birth for a few weeks. A new mom might get a little too zesty with her new found flexibility and cause stress or worse to her joints. I believe in keeping my students informed while teaching through gentle cues, “let’s remember to honor our bodies by staying in safe range of movement”. Just have fun and enjoy the ride!

So stay blessed, and stay moving!

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