Moksha (also known as Modo Yoga internationally) Prenatal Yoga is a process of modifying the Moksha Yoga sequence. Depending on the trimester that you are in, you can join a regular Moksha class on the schedule and follow the prenatal instructions (once you inform your teacher) or, you can enjoy taking specialized prenatal classes specific to only those expecting. Because your health means so much to us, please read the following to learn when it’s appropriate to practice in the heat, and when it’s okay to not.
So, how do you maintain a yoga practice throughout pregnancy? It is an opportunity to tune in and connect with your baby, your community, and prepare your body for the birthing process. It is important that we let you know that if you have not had a consistent Moksha Yoga practice in a hot room, we do not recommend beginning now. There are many wonderful, gentle types of prenatal yoga that are available, either at your studio or in your community. It is important to have a consistent Moksha practice already, as you need to be comfortable with the heat, and know what to do if you feel dizzy or unwell. You will also understand the importance of hydration and have a foundation in breath awareness. In order to practice hot yoga, we strongly ask that you speak to your health care provider and confirm that your pregnancy is ‘Low Risk’.
Moksha Yoga’s Policy is this:
- You must have a steady Moksha practice (or other hot yoga practice) for a minimum of 6 months
- Your doctor will have approved you to be a ‘low risk’ pregnancy
- Your doctor will give you the thumbs up to continue your practice in the heat
- Please ensure your teacher knows of your pregnancy. We are all really great at keeping secrets too!
Why maintain a yoga practice throughout pregnancy? Here are the benefits:
- openness and strength
- breath awareness
- reduce stress
- reduce water retention
- faster recovery
- reduce low back pain and sciatica
- acceptance of changing body
- Please tell the teacher that you are pregnant, and which trimester you are in. Our teachers have been asked to keep the temperature below 100 degrees when we have a pregnant practitioner in the room. This is a safety precaution. It is not necessarily dangerous for the baby, as pregnant women work or vacation in hot places, sometimes get fevers and still take hot baths with absolutely no side effects, but it is better to be safe. Because of thermoregulation, our core temperatures are stable even when the external temperature changes.
- Please be extremely mindful of hydrating before, during and after class. Feel free to leave the class at any time to use the toilet (changing hormones cause this happen almost as soon as the pregnancy begins). As such, we ask that you set up your yoga mat right by the door (it is cooler there, too!)
- If you feel dizzy or unwell at all, please lay down until it passes, or leave the room to get some air. Your body gets signals of distress before the baby is affected so you must be listening closely.
- Prepare yourself for a flood of emotions to come sometimes. With so many hip opening poses, combined with hormones and a heightened emotional state, the tears may flow. Crying is a great cleanser, so do not let this discourage you from continuing your practice.
- Be guided by your comfort. If you experience any pain, stop what you are doing and adjust the pose to suit your new needs or lay down. Your body is the best teacher you have. Your centre of gravity is shifting and balancing will not always be easy. Do not be afraid to use a wall or mirror for support. For example, a back bend may feel wonderful in your first trimester, but in your third, a vulnerable lower back and stretching abdominal muscles may not feel right. Respect your new and changing limitations.
- Find out where the cooler parts of the room are. This will ensure maximum comfort.
- Please understand that Moksha is often practiced by highly active people that are used to a strong practice. Pregnancy is not a time for this. Practicing at 50%– 75% capacity would be strongly advised.
- Because Moksha can cause weight loss, it is not the best practice for women in their first trimester. This is a time for building your baby and you need your fat and your energy for this very important job. This is why many pregnant women feel so incredibly tired. If you are nauseous, you may not feel like practicing in the heat anyway. Only you can know if the yoga is benefiting your pregnancy.
- Please keep a healthy snack in your bag for after class.
- If you can, give yourself at least 15 minutes to rest after class before you drive. It is also a nice time to connect with other practitioners, mothers and the teachers about what you are experiencing.
- At the end of class, when the Kapalabhati breathing is happening, this is a good time to do pelvic floor toning exercises. Inhale to lift and tighten, exhale to relax. We are very comfortable saying that the body and breath awareness that a Moksha Yoga practice offers can truly benefit your birthing experience. The confidence and strength you gain will bring out your true warrior for this incredible and incomparable transformation.
What should you do now?
- Purchase our Moksha pregnancy DVD and dive into your practice at home and get comfortable with each modification that is offered during each stage of your pregnancy. This can sometimes be picked up at the studio, or you can buy it online here.
- Review the modifications now – click here for a PDF version of the Moksha sequence modifications.