Yoga can improve overall quality of life during pregnancy, reducing levels of the stress hormone cortisol. There is more growing scientific evidence that yoga is a helpful tool for expecting moms.
Pregnant women should focus more on stability and strength, rather than endurance and flexibility during yoga. I highly recommended to use props, such as blocks, or a wall, to make each pose well-supported. A pregnancy hormone called relaxin, can loosen your muscles and ligaments, which increases the risk for injuries if you push yourself too far in postures. That’s why it’s important to tune into your body and practice with a knowledgeable instructor.
I practiced yoga regularly during both my pregnancies and can remember taking open classes at a studio in Lausanne (because there were very few prenatal yoga classes offered at the time), and having other students gawk at me during the poses. Being alienated as the only pregnant woman in the class didn’t feel great, so I shifted practicing at home on my own. Practicing up until my due date, I truly believe that yoga helped me during active labour and the birthing process, and wish to help other women tap into their own pregnancy powers.