Regarding the recommendation to avoid inversions: I don't think the the body's circulatory system is so fragile that being upside down would markedly change the blood flow to or from the uterus. During my pregnancy I modified as needed for the size of my belly and level of energy, but I found inversions (especially shoulderstand) to be quite comfortable and therapeutic.
@alan:If a pregnant woman wants to do a class that is focused on her and her baby she should go to a specific pre natal class, not a general yoga class. The article focuses on incorporating a pregnant student into an open class without making it a pregnancy yoga class as, most likely, other 20 people in the class won't be pregnant. I am a student, yoga teacher and an expecting mother and found the tips in the article very helpful (although I wouldn't take on a student who was less than 12 weeks pregnant and most specialist prenatal classes woudnt either, you should be after your first all-clear scan in order to participate). X
One of the most important considerations was not in this article - diastasis recti. This is separation of the abdominal muscles. I disagree with Tory who said its best not to do core work. A strong core is essential for a successful birth and recovery. However, you must be educated about how to work your core safely. There are specific ways to work the muscles that are used to push the baby out. There are also specific exercises that should be avoided. Do your research to help your students be safe and strong for the labor ahead.
sorry, instead of chance i want to mean CHANGE
It is sad to see that Mrs. Heilbronner says that a woman who seeks for yoga classes during pregnancy thinks "I am a person here to do yoga first, and a pregnant woman second [...] It's just as if I had a shoulder injury that the teacher needed to be aware of and modify poses for." On the contrary, a pregnant woman deserves a class for its own, just done for her new condition of carrying a baby inside her. It is during this period when she is more Shakti than ever, being able to carry a new life inside her. Meditation for a good pregnancy and to make parturition labor a good moment, without all that pressure and pain... naturally I am speaking about natural childbirth, not cesarean. And the three first months should be used to learn how to relax and chance the idea that a natural parturition is only achieved through pain! I totally desagree with Mrs. Heilbronne has written.
I think the key to a happy back during pregnancy is a FOUNDATION of core strength...
The first few weeks when I didnt even know I was pregnant I felt perfectly fine doing core strengthening. As soon as I found out I was pregnant I decided to forego my core workout in order to soften my belly muscles and prepare for them to stretch! Overall, I think this is a good idea. I have always had a strong and defined belly and core strength. In the end, I felt that having a previously strong foundation of core strength carried me through my pregnancy with no back aches or strain throughout. I also gave my body ample healing time, begining my core strengthening again after about 5 weeks postpartum. Now my belly is stronger and more defined than ever!
I have been teaching prenatal yoga for several years, and I think the most important thing for pregnant women and yoga teachers to remember is that the body has so much wisdom. We have to remember to listen to and respect our bodies. If it feels good, do it, if it doesn't, don't! I am in my first pregnancy and I haven't changed much in my practice so far because my body is really craving a vinyasa practice. I wouldn't recommend doing a heavy vinyasa pracice to most women, unless, like me, they have been practicing and teaching for many years, and this is something there body craves. In fact, I would have guessed that I would be more physically tired, since my PMS has always exhausted me, but for some reason, my body is telling me to move! There is so much information on the internet about what pregnant women should and shouldn't do that it can really be stressful.Sometimes it's too much information. We have all the wisdom we need inside us already. I think one of the most important things you can give as a prenatal teacher is remind women of there body's natural knowledge, and to listen.
Best to not do any core strengtheners or ab work as the belly needs to be soft and grow for there to be room for baby to grow. Especially at nine weeks, take it a bit easier. Once you are in second trimester you will get more energy and you can have a more active asana practice again and especially in the 3rd trimester it's good to also walk a lot and keep your cardio strong in preparation for giving birth as it is like preparing for a marathon. Enjoy!
I teach yoga and pilates in addition to some more intense body sculpting classes. Needless to say I do a lot of intense core work. I am very cautious with my clients but since this is my body I feel comfortable continuing with my abdominal work. My question....should I really lay off the more intense core stuff like boat (half or full), leg lifts, the hundreds, ect? I feel good doing them but I don't want to do anything that could be harmful. I am currently 9 weeks.