I get asked very often: “is prenatal yoga different?” When I encourage people to come to class, I explain. I discuss how prenatal yoga is different than any other yoga class. While a gentle yoga class is perfectly suitable for pregnancy, it isn’t made for it. There is a difference and it’s one that people appreciate after they experience it.
How is prenatal yoga different?
Prenatal yoga is different because it isn’t a typical yoga class that just keeps modifications in mind. Instead, the entire class is based around and on pregnancy. Each class is curated with considerations of the challenges and of the surprises, of the thoughts and feelings, and of the overall experience that is growing a person. The following are some specific ways that prenatal yoga is different:
- The language-the language in a prenatal yoga class reflects what’s going on in your mind and body. It addresses the common aches, the euphoria, and…the baby! We get into poses and fill our lungs. We speak about our growing bellies, anxieties, and love.
- The poses-the poses are perfect for strengthening what needs to be strengthened and relaxing what needs to be relaxed. The asanas in prenatal yoga help prepare you for birth while the meditations connect you to your baby.
- The flow-the flow, speed, and the order of how the class is constructed is purposeful. Pregnancy changes, ebbs, and flows. So does a prenatal yoga practice. There are moments of fluidity and calm, followed by peaks. I’ll let you guess how these peaks prepare you.
- The instructor-the instructor knows pregnancy. They know the anatomical, the physiological, and the emotional changes are profound. Simple modifications are simply not enough to really get in tune with your practice or yourself, and the teacher knows how to guide you.
- The camaradie-the camaradie is incredible. The friendships and connections that people make in a prenatal yoga class are unforgettable. You’re with them, and they you. Once everyone has their baby, older relationships often become distanced, unfortunately. The friends you make during pregnancy understand your new station in life.
- The vibe-the overall vibe of a prenatal yoga class is simultaneously chill and excited. It has a clear purpose and direction. It feels like a preparation and support group. It’s the one hour in the week where you can relax.