Bikram Yoga & Pregnancy

May 8, 2015 8:05 am

Bikram Yoga & Pregnancy

In the lead-up to Mother’s Day, three regular practitioners and first-time moms-to-be talk about keeping up with Bikram Yoga during pregnancy.

Noa: First Trimester


Q: When are you due? Do you know if you’re having a boy or a girl?

A: I’m due in late November. It’s a little early to determine the sex of the baby, but I think we’re going to make it a surprise. Google and smartphones don’t really allow for much of those these days!


Q: Will you keep practising Bikram Yoga during your pregnancy?

A: My doctor’s asked me to take a break for the first trimester. I’m over 35, so there are some precautions that need to be taken. But as soon as I’m given the green light to return in my second trimester, you’ll definitely see me in the hot room.


Q: What benefits are you looking forward to gaining when you go back?

A: Keeping my fitness up and my stress down – basically the same good stuff I was getting from Bikram Yoga before.


Q: How will you prep for the pregnancy series?

A: I bought the DVD and have been practising at home without the heat.


Q: What other adjustments do you think you’ll need to make?

A: I may stick to some of the cooler areas of the room, but really listening to my body and taking it easy as needed are going to be the big challenges for me.


Q: Any advice for students who are newly pregnant?

A: Talk to your doctor. Using the Internet to research what you can or cannot do, from yoga to nutrition to travel, can get really confusing.


Q: In terms of motherhood, what are you looking forward to most?

A: Experiencing what people call closest possible connection with another living thing.


Ashley: Second Trimester


Q: When are you due? Do you know if you’re having a boy or a girl?

A: August 16th and we are going to wait until then to find out!


Q: Why did you decide to keep practising through your pregnancy?

A: Bikram Yoga has been a big part of my life for many years and I’m so grateful to continue practising. It gives me relaxation and calmness along with continuing to strengthen my body and my mind. Every time I look in the mirror I feel like I’m celebrating my pregnant body; it’s a beautiful thing.


A: Did you get any advice about practising during pregnancy?

Q: Yes, I spoke to my midwife and she loved that I was continuing my practice and staying physically and mentally fit.


Q: Have you had to make any changes to your practice?

A: I now practice Rajashree’s pregnancy series, which includes modifications to avoid lying on my belly. I make sure I’m well hydrated and really listen to my body when it needs a rest – or to go to the washroom!


Q: How did you prep for the pregnancy series?

A: I watched Rajashree’s DVD, did research on the Internet and had help from other BYV teachers. There are lots of variations and modifications to try, I like to change it up and keep it interesting.


Q: How often do you practise now, and how are you feeling in the hot room?

A: I feel great! The hot room makes me feel even better; it’s my happy place. My body loves it. I am practising three to four times a week.


Q: Have you experienced any new challenges?

A: I have to use the washroom, always.


Q: What are some of the biggest benefits of practising Bikram Yoga during pregnancy?

A: It keeps my mind and my body strong, flexible, calm and relaxed. I feel very confident in my new and growing body, which, I think for all women, is very important. Pregnancy is beautiful and raw and your body should be celebrated!


Q: Any advice to students who are pregnant and not sure whether they can or should keep practising?

A: Rajashree says you should be practising consistently for at least six months prior to becoming pregnant. I think if it feels good, do it. If it doesn’t, now is definitely the time to listen. You’re growing a little human inside of you; your body will tell you what it needs and what it doesn’t. Talk to your doctor.


Q: What are you most looking forward to in terms of being a mom?

A: I can’t wait to fall in love and everything that comes next.


Terri: Third Trimester


Q: How far along are you?

A: I have a week-and-a-half till my due date. He’s still in there!


Q: Why did you decide to keep practising Bikram Yoga during pregnancy?

A: I know that if I’m feeling good, it’s good for the baby, and the yoga ensures that. Also, I’m afraid of labour, and this yoga will prepare me with the strength to endure it.


Q: Have you made any changes to your practice since you became pregnant?

A: I practice three times a week now – one day less than usual because I find it harder to stay hydrated – and situate myself in the cooler part of the room. I’ve also learned to go easier on myself in class, to be nicer to myself. I am really enjoying the pregnancy series, and I’ve taken a one-on-one with BYV teacher Tierney, who has studied yoga therapy and was pregnant just last year. I also got great tips from a lot of the teachers at BYV.


Q: Any personal advice for other pregnant practitioners?

A: By already having a regular practice, you already know what your body is telling you very well. Listen to it. Don’t be afraid to sit out postures; you don’t have to do everything. It was hard for me to follow that last piece of advice myself but, with nausea in my first two trimesters, I was forced to! Also, remember, you are or will be carrying a lot of extra weight, which means you may not be able to hold some postures for the whole duration – and that’s OK.


Q: What is it about motherhood that you’re looking forward to most?

A: Everything, including lots more personal growth.

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