Nurturing Life: A Guide to Prenatal Yoga for Every Yoga Teacher

Dec 27 / FLY team
As a dedicated yoga teacher, it's crucial to be prepared for the diverse needs of your students, and one area that deserves special attention is prenatal yoga. While it may not be a mandatory component of a 200-hour yoga teacher training, understanding the essentials of prenatal yoga can be a game-changer when a pregnant yogi joins your class unexpectedly.

In our signature 200hr Yoga Teacher Training at Frog Lotus Yoga, we recognise the significance of prenatal yoga and offer a prenatal yoga teacher training module in our signature 200-hr yoga teacher training four times a year. 

Let's explore the key considerations, modifications, and tips for teaching pregnant yogis.

The Three Vital Questions

When a pregnant student steps into your class, it's not about overhauling your planned Vinyasa flow. You can seamlessly integrate them into the session by asking three essential questions:

1. Yoga Experience: Inquire about their yoga experience to tailor poses to their current level.

2. Trimester: Understand which trimester they are in to customize modifications based on their stage of pregnancy.

3. Medical Conditions: Be aware of any medical issues, such as high blood pressure, which can impact pose selection.

Navigating Pose Modifications

Certain poses require careful consideration for pregnant yogis. Here's a brief overview of poses to avoid or modify:

While deep closed twists are to be avoided, gentle twists above the waistline, like the supine twist, are safe alternatives.

Opt for gentle backbends that focus on chest opening, such as Bridge, cat-cow, and sphinx pose, avoiding deep backbends like camel or wheel pose.

Prone Poses
Bow pose and locust pose, which put direct pressure on the abdomen, should be avoided. Cobra and sphinx pose are safe with appropriate cues.

Core Work
Crunching or flexing the abdominals, as in boat pose, is not recommended during the first trimester.

For beginners, skip inversions, except downward dog. Experienced practitioners can continue with modifications like legs up the wall.

Supine Poses
After week 20, limit time spent on the back. Modify savasana to a side-lying position for comfort.

Adjustments and Support
When teaching pregnant yogis, the focus shifts from challenging them to ensuring comfort. Avoid standard adjustments and instead help them modify poses using props for added support.

Additional Safety Considerations

Caution in Hip Openers: Prevent overstretching by adjusting poses like Baddha Konasana with blocks under the knees.

Encourage Slower Transitions: Due to changes in blood pressure during pregnancy, advocate slower transitions between poses.

Recommend Suitable Yoga Styles: Suggest safe styles like hatha and restorative, avoiding hot yoga and vigorous styles for beginners.

Tailoring Prenatal Practice

The journey through each trimester brings unique considerations:

1st Trimester: Respect a potential decrease in energy and advise on less vigorous options if needed.

2nd Trimester: Guide adjustments for a growing belly, avoiding prone poses and twists that constrict the abdomen.

3rd Trimester: Address increased flexibility cautiously, emphasising stability and modifications for comfort.

Embrace Informed Teaching

Equip yourself with knowledge and confidence to welcome pregnant yogis into your classes. At Frog Lotus Yoga, our Prenatal Yoga module in the 200hr training ensures you're well-prepared to create inclusive and supportive yoga spaces for all.

Discover the transformative power of prenatal yoga with Frog Lotus Yoga's specialised training. Embrace the journey of teaching yoga to expectant mothers, fostering a sense of well-being and connection. In the realm of yoga, inclusivity and adaptability are the keys to creating enriching experiences for every practitioner and so by understanding prenatal will not only enriche your teaching repertoire but ensure that every yogi feels welcomed and supported on the mat.
Created with