The great Chinese Yogi, Lao Tzu, is quoted saying: ‘Honor both Mother and Children, but Know that the Mother is dearer, and you will outlive Death.’
In honor of mothers to be, here are five tips for yoginis and teachers seeking to honor them. It goes without saying, but I will say it any way: check with your doctor if it is ok for you and your baby to enjoy a physical program.
Tip #1 – in all forward bend movements give your baby more room – allow your legs to open wider than your hips to provide room for your growing child and comfort for yourself. BikYasa Poses – DownWard Facing Dog, Hands Under Feet pose (whether from back or front variation) & Seated Forward bend.
Tip #2 – avoid the floor – technically you avoid lying face down on your belly. This also includes low push up (though some pregnant women find that the Low Push Up does not put their stomach on the floor, compared to others where holding high push up makes them feel the ground touching their stomach).
Rather then go into Low Push Up Pose, hold high push up and go into UpWard Facing Dog Pose from here.
BikYasa Flying Cobra alternate pose: Bridge for the first set. Bridge or Wheel for the second set.
BikYasa hands under belly Locust alternate pose: One Leg Pigeon Right side.
BikYasa hands under shoulder Locust alternate pose: One Leg Pigeon Left side.
BikYasa full bow pose: Bride or Wheel again.
Tip #3 – twist away from your belly – in twisting poses rotate in the opposite direction to your stomach.
BikYasa seated twisting pose, turn your body in the opposite direction of the knee.
Tip #4 – don’t let your knees get in the way – much like forward bends, when you fold over your knees, create space for your child.
BikYasa child pose is done with knees wide to create this opportunity for comfort.
BikYasa half turtle pose.
BikYasa rabbit shoulder be replaced with child pose.
Tip #5 – avoid complete inversions – while some pregnant women enjoy head stand and shoulder stand poses, it tends to be much more comfortable for most women to simply omit these poses while pregnant and enjoy holding the legs up at 90 degrees for those two minutes of the class.
Most of these tips should strike you as self explanatory since there is a child in your stomach, though often are forgotten by both teachers and practitioners.
Lastly, if you feel uncomfortable at any time, whether it is the heat or the poses, simply sit down, ideally in Japanese seated pose, or any other position of comfort and wait till you are ready to continue.
You get ALL the benefits of the practice even if you sit the whole time.
Such is the power of BikYasa Yoga with its consistent dialogue influenced class.