Prenatal Yoga

One of the biggest differences in my two pregnancies is my activity level. With my first pregnancy, I was still working in an office full time, so my time for workouts was limited. I walked and hiked a lot, training for my 60-mile breast cancer walk that I did when I was 7 months pregnant, and a little bit of zumba here and there, but not much else more than that. With this second pregnancy, I am doing Stroller Strides, Stroller Barre and Fit4Baby classes (which all include strength training), walking, hiking, chasing after my toddler, and up until a few weeks ago, running. I have also incorporated prenatal yoga into this pregnancy and I LOVE it. I’ve practiced yoga since college and took dance classes since I was a child, so to this day I still love doing barre work, stretching and holding poses.

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The FIT4MOM franchise that I am a part of started offering Prenatal Fit & Flow classes right in time for my second pregnancy. These classes included Fit4Baby and prenatal yoga, each once a week. The yoga instructor left to have her baby about a month ago, so I continued practicing prenatal yoga on my own at home. Jeremy and I also took a one-time two-hour prenatal partner yoga class about halfway through my second trimester. That was also fun, but there was a lot of giggling and making each other laugh during that class.

There are so many benefits of practicing yoga during pregnancy, including developing and maintaining strength, stamina, flexibility, and balance. I fully believe that staying calm and relaxed is key to a healthy pregnancy, and I have definitely benefited from the calming effects that practicing yoga brings. Disclaimer: I am not a trained yoga instructor or medical practitioner, and this post is solely about my own personal experience with prenatal yoga. I encourage all expectant moms to consult with their own doctor or midwife before starting or continuing any exercise during pregnancy.

Because I was already running, dancing and practicing yoga before my pregnancy, I was given two big thumbs up to continue with them as long as I felt comfortable. Towards the beginning of my third trimester, I had the opportunity to pose for some maternity photos and incorporate some of my favorite yoga and dance poses into them. Here are some of my favorites!

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Warm-up

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Dancer’s Pose

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Wheel Pose

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Hug from My Girl 🙂
(This was not posed, just one of my favorites that the photographer captured!)

While dancer’s pose and wheel pose are some of my favorite yoga poses, they are also difficult to do during late pregnancy. I have listened to my body and modified both of them now, using a wall for extra balance and stopping at a bridge pose rather than a full backbend. Cat-cow, tree, and child’s poses are some of my favorites for late pregnancy.

Now that I am seriously closing in on my due date, I have modified and/or slowed down on most of the cardio exercises I’ve been doing. Prenatal yoga has kept me flexible, strong and calm throughout my entire pregnancy, and I feel mentally and physically prepared, ready and excited for another natural labor and delivery experience. Namaste 🙂

Photo credits: Tiffany Burke Photography

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