Things to Consider Before Beginning a Pregnancy Yoga Class
YOUR PREGNANCY YOGA HEALTH CHECKLIST The great thing about yoga, especially pregnancy yoga, is that anyone can do it! A reputable, qualified pregnancy yoga teacher will ALWAYS ask you to complete a health questionnaire before attending class. They will want to make sure that they have all of your vital information, so that they can modify the practice to your needs and safety. If they’re not asking these questions, then they don’t know or they don’t care. Either way, I’d choose another teacher. We’re going to cover some of the safety precautions that you should take to minimize your risk of anything untoward happening. The first thing that you should do is ensure that you’re not in the way of the more ‘general’ risks, by checking with your GP or Midwife. Before you begin a yoga practice, you need to be aware if you fit into any of these categories: • Have you ever had any preexisting heart conditions? • Are you at risk of respiratory conditions or lung disease? • Do you have diabetes of any kind? • Do you suffer from high blood pressure or pre-eclampsia? • Have you previously had a premature birth? • Have you experienced any physical condition that has prevented you from exercising in the past? • Have you experienced persistent 2nd or 3rd trimester bleeding ? • Has your water broken (ruptured membranes)? You probably already know the answers to these questions, but if you are unsure, it’s best to check with your midwife. If your answer to all of these questions was a firm ‘no’, then congratulations, you have little or nothing to worry about, and you should be able to begin your yoga practice with no issues whatsoever. However, if your answer to any of the questions in the checklist was ‘yes’, or if you were unsure of the answer, then it is strongly advised that you consult your GP or midwife before you begin your pregnancy yoga practice. Other relative contraindications/conditions which may need the ‘okay’ by your GP include: • Poorly controlled type 1 Diabetes • Intrauterine growth restriction • Severe anemia • If you are very under or overweight • If you suffer from chronic bronchitis or are a heavy smoker • If you have a history of an extremely sedentary lifestyle • If you suffer from poorly controlled hypertension or thyroid disease • If you are suffering from any kind of acute illness or infection. This doesn’t mean to say that you should stop reading now though. Over the course of this guide, you’ll find that you’re able to perform most of the postures and sequences, unless you have a specific condition that prevents you from doing so. Still, it wouldn’t hurt to get a professional medical opinion. Better safe than sorry, right? At the end of the day, you want to make sure that you’re not exposing yourself to any unnecessary risk! Thankfully, yoga is one of the lowest risk forms of exercise for pregnancy and this is why it is so highly recommended.