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Pregnancy and Yoga

Practising yoga during pregnancy offers tremendous benefits and can be done through most of the pregnancy including the last weeks. The right posture work can exercise the back, reduce back pain and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. The abdominal cavity is expanded, supplying good blood circulation and space for the baby. The chest gets opened, easing breathing and ensuring a good oxygen supply for mother and baby. The postures relieve tiredness, soothe and relax you.

In the Iyengar system, we make full use of our props and supports to keep the necessary space in the abdomen and also to avoid overstretching. The props look very strange to those who have never used them but students readily appreciate the ease and space they bring to the poses. Remember that the ligaments soften and loosen in pregnancy and care must be taken to use enough support to avoid strain, especially in the pelvic region.

Because of the increased risk of miscarriage between weeks eleven and thirteen, we recommend that beginners do not do yoga during this time and that practised students only do resting poses with supports.

Because every pregnancy is different and the requirements for each mother-to-be change from week to week, I teach only a small group so that each person gets an individual programme and attention. I have taught yoga to many pregnant women and regularly attend workshops to refresh my skills as a teacher. The photos shown were taken at one such workshop in London.