Pregnancy yoga classes – what to expect

It’s not unusual for pregnancy yoga classes to be the first type of yoga class that women attend. Yoga is often THE recommended exercise for women during pregnancy and I’m not surprised.

+ It can be tailored to suit all stages of pregnancy.

+ Pregnancy yoga involves breathing and mindset that is invaluable in preparation for birth.

+ Regular classes can help ease many typical pregnancy complaints – aching back, exhaustion, anxiety.

But if pregnancy IS the first time you’re trying yoga you might be wondering what the heck to expect. Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered. From finding a class that’s right for you, to what to wear and what you’ll be doing. It’s all here.

If there is any questions I’ve missed, please let me know and I’ll add it to the post.

pregnancy yoga classes

How to find pregnancy yoga classes near you?

Honestly, the simplest way to find a pregnancy yoga class near you is to simply type “pregnancy yoga classes” into Google.

However if nothing pops up there, try asking your midwife or doctor. They’ll often have some flyers for yoga teachers in your area.

Failing that, you could always head down to your local yoga studio and ask there. Even if they don’t offer pregnancy yoga classes personally they’ll know who to refer you to.

What should you wear to yoga?

The three criteria for pregnancy yoga clothes are – you feel comfortable, you can more freely and you don’t feel too hot.

If you live in a cold climate try layering so that you can remove clothing as the class warms up. Don’t worry about buying clothes especially for yoga. Any sort of tights or shorts will work. Throw over a big t-shirt or singlet that will comfortably cover your bump and you’re all set.

When can I start pregnancy yoga classes?

This will depend on your teacher. Some teachers and studios will only accept students who are in their second trimester (14 + weeks), so it pays to ring and check before you arrive. This is not the case for all teachers however (and not true for me personally). Yoga is beneficial in all trimesters, however the practice does change accordingly.

Do I need to book?

Yes! Pregnancy yoga is a specialist area and every woman can be at a different stage of pregnancy. You will need to book in so that your teacher can have time to take a brief health assessment and plan a class that suits everyone who attends.

What do I need to bring with me?

Yoga mat (If you don’t have one most studios have mats that you can borrow).

Drink bottle (It’s important to make sure you don’t get too hot when you’re pregnant.)

Towel (Not essential but some like to have this over their mat at times during the class).

Side note. Leave your phone in the car so you can avoid that awkward ‘I-thought-it-was-on-silent-but-now-it’s-going-off-mid-class’ moment.

What will happen during the class?

You’ll be asked to either sit or lie on your mat at the beginning of the class while you wait for everyone to arrive.

The teacher will be positioned at the front of the room, however may move around the room throughout the class.

He or she will instruct what movements and breath work you are to do. Follow what your teacher is doing, or if they are off their mat follow the person in front of you.

At the end of the class you’ll lie on your mat for savasana (meditation). Most pregnancy yoga teachers will encourage you to lie on your side and use a bolster to support your legs.

How do pregnancy yoga classes differ from regular yoga classes?

Pregnancy yoga classes are often slower and more gentle than other vinyasa style classes. You won’t do many poses that require you to lie on your back (as this can be uncomfortable during pregnancy) and you obviously won’t be asked to lie on your belly at all. Pregnancy yoga classes are also gentle on your body as it changes rapidly over the next 9 months.

Pregnancy yoga focuses on keeping your body strong and flexible during pregnancy and also preparing your body and mind for the challenge of birth. You’ll learn tools and techniques during these classes that you can use during birth to help you manage pain and know how to move to work with your birthing body.

Pregnancy yoga teachers are specially trained to cater for all stages of pregnancy and should be familiar with common pregnancy complaints and conditions. In a regular yoga class your teacher may be inexperienced with pregnancy and may feel unable to support you as you need. (Not all of course though – some pregnancy yoga teachers teach regular yoga too!).

How to know if pregnancy yoga classes are for you?

If any of the following apply to you, I’d suggest finding a pregnancy yoga class near you.

+ Your lower back and legs often ache by the end of the day.

+ You feel anxious and nervous about birth.

+ You don’t know anyone else who is pregnant or who has young children.

+ This is your first pregnancy.

+ You feel uncomfortable doing your regular pre-pregnancy exercise now.

+ You’re unsure how you’ll manage pain during birth.

+ Your body is feeling stiff and sore.

+ You’re alive (lol. Sorry. I think everyone should do yoga, so… there’s that.

If you have any other questions about pregnancy yoga classes, feel free to ask in the comments below.

If you can’t find pregnancy yoga classes near you try my Youtube channel for classes you can practice at home (or try the one below).

Brand new to pregnancy yoga? Download my free yoga guide for pregnancy and birth.

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