Prenatal yoga classes will be available in October at The Yoga Room. (Photo from Kohlbey Ozipko)

Prenatal yoga classes will be available in October at The Yoga Room. (Photo from Kohlbey Ozipko)

The Yoga Room: Pregnancy and Yoga

Prenatal yoga can ease pregnancy symptoms and prepare the body, mind, and spirit for childbirth

By Kohlbey Ozipko, Certified Yoga Instructor, The Yoga Room

Pregnancy is a strange but beautiful thing: your body is changing; your mindset is changing; your home is changing; your whole life is changing. With all of these changes, it can sometimes be disheartening to discover that even your exercise routine must evolve.

Your exercise routine does not have to change for the worse, though. In fact, pregnancy can be a wonderful time to step back from an intensive workout regimen and instead integrate a new practice into your life; one that not only eases pregnancy symptoms such as that dreaded morning sickness, sciatic pain, and lumbar discomfort, but also prepares your body, mind, and spirit for the act of childbirth itself. Prenatal yoga is this practice.

Unfortunately, there is a sort of taboo tied to prenatal yoga. This might be because exercise and movement, in general, were not necessarily recommended for pregnant individuals for such a long time. However, the research on exercise during pregnancy is continuing to evolve. Many midwives, gynecologists, and doctors actually recommend regular exercise to pregnant individuals nowadays, though it is worth noting that the types and amount of exercise recommended are different for every individual and each pregnancy.

If your midwife, gynecologist, or doctor does advise you to integrate regular exercise into your weekly schedule—this is oftentimes the case for complication-free pregnancies—then it may be worth attending a prenatal yoga class or two to see if the practice is a good fit.

As you may already know, yoga is a practice that traditionally consists of a sequence of postures (asanas), breathwork (pranayama), and meditation, and all of these aspects are still present within the prenatal yoga practice. Additionally, many prenatal yoga classes place great emphasis upon visualization and relaxation as they aid expecting individuals in their preparation for childbirth.

There are, of course, a few limitations when it comes to practicing prenatal yoga: deep backbends and abdominal twists are typically advised against; abdominal compression is minimized or completely avoided; and many of the standing postures must be adapted to utilize a wider stance to accommodate the changing body. Perhaps it is best not to think of these as limitations, though. Rather, they are loving gestures made to better fit pregnant individuals and the life growing within them.

Kohlbey, an expecting mother herself, will be offering her first series of prenatal yoga classes at The Yoga Room in Creston beginning mid-October (exact dates yet to be determined). Until then, you can find her teaching Evening Yin every Tuesday from 7 to 8 p.m. TGIF Flow every Friday from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

If you’re interested in learning more about Kohlbey’s current offerings, feel free to reach out to her directly through email at kohlbey.ozipko@alumni.ubc.ca.

The Yoga Room is located at 1204 Northwest Blvd. in Creston. For more information on class offerings at The Yoga Room, visit www.theyogaroomcreston.com.

READ MORE: The Yoga Room: A Space to Unite With Yourself and Others

ColumnCreston Valley