This is a collaborative post
Pregnancy for most women is a unique and exceptional experience. It is a time that conveys the message of unconditional love, and it presents an opportunity to enjoy the many benefits offered by Yoga practice, including deep serenity. Pregnancy yoga teacher training helps you as a teacher, to create a nurturing and positive environment for your expectant mothers and the unborn babies in their womb.
The connections developed during Pregnancy yoga are usually fourfold– mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual. This deep connection helps women deal with the challenges (psychological, physical, and emotional) of pregnancy while naturally preparing for labour and Childbirth. Yoga helps pregnant women stay fit and relaxed, helping to keep the health of mother and baby optimal.
Yoga involves moving and exercising the body in a physical, spiritual, and mental practice. Yoga aims to allow mothers to take control of their minds in an atmosphere of serenity and stillness detached from outside surroundings and pressures. The main focus of Yoga is to achieve balance and union between mother and the universe through the following means; physical exercises or postures (asana), breathing exercises (pranayama), relaxation, and meditation.
This article provides you with some vital information to start your journey to Pregnancy yoga teacher training and becoming a qualified prenatal yoga teacher.
Benefits of Pregnancy yoga training for mum
Pregnancy yoga teacher training cover several aspects of a prenatal yoga practice. The training involves learning about focused breathing suitable for pregnancy, mental concentration in the form of meditation, and stretching and alignment through Asana. Some of the benefits afforded pregnant women include;
- It helps pregnant women sleep better and avoid insomnia
- Reduces anxiety, depression, and stress levels in pregnant women
- Increases energy levels
- Improved Flexibility and strengthening of the main muscles used in childbirth with a strong focus on the BAPs (back, abs and pelvic floor)
- Reduced pain, headaches, and shortness of breath
What happens during a typical Pregnancy yoga teacher training?
With its multifaceted approach, Pregnancy yoga teacher training involves several areas of study and covers all aspects of pregnancy and childbirth, including:
- Breathing. This ensures that when teaching, you focus on slowly and deeply breathing in and out. Pregnancy yoga training breathing techniques and practices will help reduce and manage shortness of breath throughout pregnancy and during labour contractions or surges.
- Postures. During training, each participant is encouraged to guide their body into different positions while lying, standing, or sitting. The physical aspect of yoga gives benefits such as developing your balance, flexibility, and strength. To provide support and comfort to participants, cushions, blankets, and belts can be used as a prop.
- Relaxation and Being Calm. At the end of each Pregnancy yoga teacher training session, we finish with a pregnancy SLEEP or savasana session which brings relaxation to the muscles and helps calm down your breathing rhythm and heart rate. Participants are encouraged to listen to their breathing patterns and be sensitive to thoughts, mental states, and emotions. This result is a state of self-awareness and calm, which we can pass on to our pregnant students.
- Gentle stretching. Each student is taught to gently stretch different body parts during the classes, including the neck and arms, and go through their entire motion range. Postures should be suitable for the various stages of pregnancy, being both safe and therapeutic. This helps to increase muscle flexibility which is vital during the birthing process.
You will be best served to avoid performing Pregnancy yoga in a high-temperature environment (such as hot yoga) as this can result in hypothermia.
Safety guidelines for pregnancy yoga?
Practising Yoga during pregnancy is super beneficial for both mother and fetus, as we know. However, following the below-listed safety guidelines is vital for optimal results, protection, and safety for mum and baby. These guidelines include;
- Discuss with your health care provider. You should explain to mum that she should be engaging her midwife or healthcare provider to get an OK before starting a pregnancy yoga session. Their health service provider should advise them of any limitations to your practice and other cautionary signs you should watch out for. Also, persons with a high risk of preterm labour or certain pregnancy-related medical conditions (including heart disease or back problems) are not allowed to participate in Pregnancy yoga classes. Providing a health questionnaire for all students before they come to class helps keep you aware of everything you need to know.
- Set reasonable targets. Setting achievable and reasonable targets for your pregnancy yoga class, not exceeding your pregnant ladies’ exercise ability. For pregnant women, 30 minutes of moderate physical activity at least five days weekly are acceptable. Shorter and fewer workouts session can still help keep mum in shape and to prepare for a healthy and active childbirth.
- Maintain a Steady Pace. Mum should not over-exert herself while doing pregnancy yoga. If normal speaking becomes difficult while practising pregnancy yoga, mum probably needs to take to break.
- Stay hydrated and cool. You will require a properly ventilated and cool but not cold room to perform pregnancy yoga to avoid hypothermia. Also, it is essential for mum to drink plenty of fluids to keep hydrated, so remember to make water available.
- Avoid certain postures. To maintain optimal alignment during pregnancy, it is required that you bend from your hips and not from your back. Also, when practising sequences that involve (open) twisting, do not lie on your back or belly so that you can avoid putting pressure on your abdomen. Use cushions, blankets, and belts to provide extra support and comfort for mum.
- Be Careful. Do not push your body during pregnancy. You should encourage your pregnant students to be attentive and sensitive to how their body feels. Take small and slow steps. Avoid painful or uncomfortable positions and keep within your stretching limits.
Decreased fetal movement and vaginal bleeding are red flags, and when experienced, you are required to stop your pregnancy yoga class and see your health care provider immediately.
Choosing a Pregnancy Yoga Teacher Training
Pregnancy yoga teacher training programmes are available globally, both online and offline. Before enrolling for one, here is a quick checklist to be considered before making your final choice.
- Observe a class or training session before you start. Observing a yoga training session before you start lets you have a first-hand view of what to expect. You will be able to see which activities that you are comfortable with and others you are not.
- Instructor Training and Accreditation. Ensure that the Yoga Teacher Trainer is a certified pregnancy yoga trainer from a reputable accrediting body such as Yoga Alliance International.
- The instructor’s style. The instructor’s teaching and group leadership style will help you get the best result and experience from your training. Always ensure you are comfortable with the training methods and techniques used by the lead instructor before choosing a yoga teacher training. You should resonate with the lead teacher’s methods and message.
- Class size and the environment. The class size and environment (online or offline) will play a massive role in the results obtained from the yoga teacher training. Selecting a training program with an appropriate class size and lots of 1-2-1 interaction will benefit your learning and create a welcoming environment for the best possible results.
When Can Your Students Start Pregnancy Yoga?
One of the reasons your students are advised to contact their health provider before commencing your pregnancy yoga class is so you can decide the best time for them, to start your yoga class. Their gynaecologist can approve their start from later in the first semester (10-12 weeks) if there aren’t signs of exhaustion or anything else that would stop them from attending class. Starting your Yoga from the first semester can help reduce pregnancy symptoms such as backache and nausea, although the practice should be gentle and focused on breathing and meditation at this stage.
Following the safety guidelines highlighted in this article with proper care and practice throughout your pregnancy will help your pregnant students prepare for Childbirth and help them and their baby be healthy.