Your questions ….
So you’d like to do pregnancy yoga … fabulous … but you have some questions … wonderful … ask away …
I’ve never done Yoga before. Is it o.k. to start yoga during my pregnancy?
Yes it is, most ladies who come along have never done any yoga. You are most welcome. Some ladies may have done a couple of classes … come with an open mind and heart as this will be different to the yoga you may have tried before.
Why I hear you ask?
Well for a start you are pregnant … you have a little person (persons) on board so your body is already working hard. What is important is to understand that the yoga we do in class is modified … we are specialist trained and encourage you to listen to your body and your baby. To flow into a pose and to adapt as your baby grows bigger. Sometimes ladies may have been using a yoga DVD at home and want that social aspect as well as have someone ensure they are doing something that is right for them and their baby.
Why can’t I stay in my regular class?
You may be an experienced yogi; it may be that from 13/14 weeks onwards you’ll find that your practice may need adjustments to accommodate your changing shape and needs. A pregnancy yoga class will introduce you to poses that will be helpful to prepare you for birth. Our classes intentionally prepare you and your body for birth. We tailor everything to be safe and appropriate for your changing body and the different trimesters of your pregnancy. The pace of the class is slower to support the increased blood supply and the decreased lung capacity your body is experiencing. In your normal class the teacher may offer modifications for you, but may also include poses that are inappropriate or unsafe if they have no pregnancy experience.
How big are the classes and what can I expect?
When you come along to a Ripple class you are joining an amazing village of families, women who have journeyed with us. You will be welcomed with open arms and any questions you have will be answered with honesty and integrity. In each class there are a maximum of 3 clients. You create a birth tribe and this may sound odd but you will need each other when your babies arrive earth side. Some women come along as a group of friends, others may have just moved into the area or have no friends who are currently pregnant and want to join a class for the social aspect. What happens when women gather … magic happens! You realise that you aren’t on your own; that there are others who may have experienced what you have or are experiencing it at the same time. You realise that actually this is ok … what a unique experience for you and your baby. Many ladies who meet in a pregnancy yoga class will also go on to become friends and share many play-dates, birthdays down the road – these are friends for life.
Even if you don’t feel like talking in class, that is fine those feel good hormones are being released and add in the movement through the yoga and you get a double whammy of that feel good factor – the oxytocin effect.
Should I start yoga in my 1st trimester? I’m pregnant didn’t realise and I’ve been doing my usual yoga class … help?
Different teachers will have different opinions and views. Some may think that it is absolutely fine whilst others would say it isn’t. I offer “early conception yoga” to those clients who have been doing fertility yoga with me and then fall pregnant. These classes are tailored to fit the needs of the client. They take into consideration the hormonal, physiological and anatomical changes that your body is experiencing. Add in nausea, vomiting and tiredness and you can understand why some clients choose to wait until this has settled … if it does …
Usually I say to clients that from 13 weeks they are welcome to book in.
If you are in your normal yoga class please tell your teacher that you are pregnant so that they can ensure that they modify anything that needs to be or can also say whether they are comfortable for you to continue in their class. Some may not be able to because of their liability insurance or don’t have any experience of pregnant clients. You don’t have to announce it to the class but you could have a quiet word and then ensure you are near to the teacher so that they can make any adjustments.
What are the benefits of pregnancy yoga?
The power of pregnancy yoga
- Promotes general health to mother and baby
- Expands breathing, expanding lung capacity, breath awareness
- Increases flexibility and mobility
- Increases energy
- Helps to gain confidence for the birth
- Calms the mind and the emotions hopefully giving you better sleep
- Bonding with your baby
- Creating space in the physical body for your growing baby
- Reminding you to listen and trust your own body
- Addressing particular pre-natal issues such as heartburn, indigestion, fatigue, piles, sciatica, pelvic girdle pain (PGP) or symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD), lower back ache, varicose veins, aching legs and carpal tunnel.
- Toning the pelvic floor
- Bringing a good blood supply to the pelvic area generally
- Gently increasing the body’s range of movement
- Releasing tensions and anxiety
- Acceptance of your changing body
- Gently building strength and stamina for an active birth
- Techniques and support for labour and the post-natal period
The yoga postures focus on spinal alignment and the distribution of weight throughout the body as your pregnancy develops and your baby grows.
Breathing techniques (Prananyama) are learned to utilise throughout your pregnancy, the stages of labour and later in your postpartum & parenting, as well as yoga nidra (mental and physical relaxation techniques).
How will these classes benefit me during pregnancy, during the birth and afterwards?
Pregnancy yoga will support you during your birth as well as during your pregnancy and afterwards in the postpartum. You are creating a toolbox that is unique to you. The breathing and awareness of the ongoing changes in your body combined with gentle stretches and poses develop strength, stamina and mobility/flexibility. We tend to run around at 80mph so having the space to just focus on yourself and your baby is so important. To take the time to connect to your breath, your body, your mind and your baby … to just “be”. To calm yourself and facilitate a positive birth using an amazing toolkit – this is priceless. Our classes will support you in being fully present and in the moment just as you are going to need to be when your baby arrives earth side and throughout your parenting journey.
During labour many clients say that they found the breathing visualisations really helpful in staying focused as well as releasing their pelvic floor and any tension that was being held. In class we practice several different types of breathing – traditional yoga breaths, specific breaths for specific stages of labour and some of visualisation and breathing techniques. You can use them at various stages of labour.
Once your baby has arrived earth side you can, when you feel ready to, gently reconnect with the sequences & breathwork which are so beneficial for calming the mind particularly if you have had a difficult night with disturbed sleep. Pregnancy yoga is a gentle route to regaining stability throughout your body until you can book into a postnatal yoga class. Tuning into your postpartum body is important so that you can gently re-connect and be aware of any areas that may need some focus. Gently reconnecting to your pelvic floor is really important.
I’m having an elective cesarean section is it worth me doing pregnancy yoga?
My response to this is that irrespective of how your baby is birthed pregnancy yoga will help you to connect with your body, your baby and your mind. It will help you to stay fit and in the postpartum support your recovery. It will also encourage your baby into an optimal position. Remember that a cesarean whether elective or emergency is major abdominal surgery so having a toolkit that will support your recovery is important.
My due date is before the block of classes I have booked finishes. Am I able to still come along?
You may not believe this but I have had ladies book in with just a few weeks to go and they have undertaken 2 classes a week with at least 48 hours between classes and managed to fit them all in. I have had others come along and do ad hoc classes and invoiced them for the number of sessions they are booking into. Please message me to discuss this. Something is better than nothing.
How do I know if my pregnancy yoga teacher is qualified?
Firstly, we are all different; we are all called to this pathway in different ways.
Secondly we will bring skills to this work that others may not have.
So ask your teacher with whom they did their pregnancy yoga training; are they a yoga teacher that then specialized into pregnancy yoga? Ask to see their certificate and to know if they hold liability insurance etc. There are many organisations that offer perinatal yoga training. The requirements differ for each one in terms of the number of hours they trained, the curriculum they would have followed. There are some teachers who are not certified so it is important to check. It’s important that you feel that the teacher is the right one for you. Check out their website. As a pregnancy yoga teacher this I feel needs to be transparent and give you a feel for whom you are going to be sharing this journey with. They are going to be there to support, nourish and nurture you. So choose the one you feel ticks all your boxes. Ask friends and family, your local community for recommendations. Word of mouth is amazing.
Is it important to you that your teacher understands and has experienced birth?
Ohh I love when I’m asked this question … have you had children? What if I said “no” but my website and reviews say how amazing the classes are and that the clients found everything so beneficial etc. Would that make you think twice? What if I was a man teaching pregnancy yoga? I recently asked the question on the Facebook group about
“Who here would be comfortable having a male midwife? Why or why not?”
The responses were interesting … here are a few …
The equality and fairness part of me wants to say yes, but deep down, I wouldn’t be comfortable. I can’t really put into words why not!
I’m the same. I really want to not care but I think I would. I’d be happy for a male midwife for anything except labour though. Saying that in my birth plan I wanted no more than 2 people in the room – in reality I just wanted baby out safely as quickly as possible
Yes. Because he will have undergone the same training as a female midwife and him having a penis won’t affect his ability to support me during my pregnancy and labour. I constantly say to N that a woman can do and be anything she wants to be as can a man and there is no such thing as a woman’s/man’s clothing/job etc
Yes and I did have one care for me in my first labour. He gave me the choice as soon as I met him, too swop for a woman. He was easy going, calm, charming, understanding, knowledgeable.
I think there is something about midwifery and birth that is a female energy.. even in the animal kingdom animals turn towards other women and mothers when labouring or they go inwards to be alone. In other cultures too it’s very much the women who come together at birth. There is also something I find sacred about looking into another woman’s eyes in labour or holding her hand and feeling that affinity that she has been here before (or may be) and as woman we are connected.
I had a man deliver my first, and a man look after me whilst my lady midwife went on a break during my second. On both occasions I preferred the men! They told me how it was, gave me options, agreed with my/our decision-whilst the women all wanted a massive conversation about it when I really wasn’t in the mood!
So I am honest and upfront and say that I have children and explain that I had an emergency cesarean section for our first and a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) for our second. I am also a doula so I witness birth in a variety of settings: home, Birth Centre, labour ward, theatre, the back of an ambulance and nearly in a car park! Yes I understand what labour involves and can support clients.
What problems can my yoga teacher help resolve?
We may all offer different skills in addition to our experience as a pregnancy yoga teacher. We may be a massage practitioner with a pregnancy and postnatal specialism, we may be reflexologists, nutritionists etc.
I am not a medical professional and so therefore I do not give medical advice. I will always refer you back to your midwife or Consultant so that they can answer any questions. I will always signpost to relevant contacts so that women can have sensible conversations about the care they are receiving, about sourcing a second opinion, changing their care provider.
I can support you with the physical e.g. back pain, leg cramp and have an amazing toolkit to support you. This I can and will offer you … please feel free to say no if it isn’t right for you.
What if I have physical difficulties how can my yoga teacher help resolve this?
As your body changes shape your teacher will modify the yoga poses suggesting the use of props, the adjustment of a body part, creating space and making it more comfortable for you.
Is it possible to book a class and try it?
You are welcome to connect and chat to me about coming along on a 1:1 basis. I do have some times set aside on Saturday afternoon for this. If there are a few of you who would like to come along you are welcome to split the costs for this. The cost for a 1 1/2 hour session is £45.00 with a maximum of 3 clients.
Do I need to book in advance?
Yes, please book in before your first class using the following link.
Current availability for pregnancy yoga classes can be found at
When can I book from?
Classes can be started from 13/14 weeks up until the arrival of your baby. Usually one class per week, however some ladies like to combine aqua with land based pregnancy yoga … this is your choice. There are 3 spaces which are offered on a first come first serve basis.
It is possible to book a mixed package of dates and classes. This is subject to availability. To book this, choose your first class date, follow the booking system to reserve a space and then email us with the specific dates and class times you are looking to book. It may be worth checking that this is possible as I try to only have a maximum of 3 ad hoc clients as it impacts the classes if there are more than this.
How do I pay?
A block of 10 classes is £160.00 and all bookings are pre-paid via the online booking system.
To book your space and join these fabulous classes please follow the link and click the “Book Now” button and select the class you would like to come along to.
At the end of the booking process you will be sent a link to complete the medical form and will receive confirmation that your classes are booked in.
What should I wear?
Something comfortable and stretchy – it doesn’t need to be special “yoga” clothing or gym wear.
How long does a class last?
Normally 90 minutes and I try to finish on time, however please allow for ten minutes over run in case we start late or get side tracked.
Do I need to bring anything with me?
Nothing unless you want to. We supply mats, all bolsters, blankets, refreshments. So just yourself, a jumper and some socks for the relaxation but we have underfloor heating so should be nice and cosy.
A smile and an open mind complete the package.
When should I arrive?
Ideally 5 minutes before start time in order to be settled, 10 minutes if its your first class with me. Please don’t arrive more than 15 minutes before the class starts.
What if I’m running late?
Just enter as quietly as you can. If we are relaxing, please avoid too much disturbance, just settle yourself into the space. If you are going to be more then 20 minutes late please drop me a text so that I can pre-warn the other ladies.
I hope this information has been helpful. If you have any questions at all please do come back to me.
Additional tips for attending a pregnancy yoga class
- Consult with your midwife before starting a yoga practice.
- Email, call or message and ask questions regarding the specific class. Make sure it’s what you are looking for and that the teacher is the right one for you.
- Before class have a light snack and bring something for afterwards. Sometimes I have snack in the fridge from the postnatal classes I offer.
- Feel free to bring a water bottle with you to class however we do have plenty.
- Please let your teacher know if there have been any changes since you completed the online medical form. If you are injured or there is a pregnancy complication they will be able to modify your practice to keep you safe.
- Listen to your body.
- Work within your limitations and accept them.
- You will find the class beneficial if you relax, let go and go with the flow.