Apparently, more than any other topic, the most popular questions on Yoga Journal's newsletter for teachers ("My Yoga Mentor") is how to deal with pregnant students in yoga class. So, my next series of articles for them will discuss how to make class as safe and useful as possible for pregnant yoginis. This is not to be a replacement for specific study of prenatal yoga, but more an introduction into key concerns and essential modifications.
On the one hand, it seems pretty basic--one article per trimester, describe useful poses, warn about contraindicated poses--but it also is kind of overwhelming. Where to start? Having just finished my second pregnancy (and having taught the whole way through), I feel pretty in tune to the limitations of the pregnant body. But, I have no idea what it feels like to wander into your first yoga class, 7 months pregnant, where everyone else is regulars and not pregnant. I feel like these are the students that the article should address, but--man--it seems like there are a lot of issues to cover. Any thoughts?
It is interesting how the practice shifts from asana to pranayama and meditation--at least it did for me. I'm going to interview the obstetric nurse who helped deliver both my sons and is now, coincidentally, one of my students. I'm really interested to hear what a professional thinks are the most useful elements of yoga for labor and delivery. Obviously breath and focus are important, but I suspect there is more.
So, I'm headed into the research part of the process and thought I would post my initial ideas to see what y'all think. So many of you are teachers and/or mothers with yoga experience, I'm sure you can give me some suggestions of what to consider (remember, I only have 750 words per article). I look forward to hearing from you!
(Boy, looking back at that picture from June...I gotta say, I do not miss those maternity fashions, that's for sure!)