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Let me start by saying that no, I am not pregnant. 😉 Just wanted to get that out of the way! Mommas to be, this class is for you! Many teachers advise women not to do Yin Yoga during pregnancy as your body is already naturally more flexible in order to prepare you for childbirth. While this is good advice for some, I believe some gentle yin yoga poses can provide great relief for low back discomfort and can also help you connect with baby.
The yin yoga poses in this class will not put any pressure on your stomach and will keep baby safe at all times. The #1 thing to look out for when practicing any kind of yoga while pregnant is to not go too far in a pose! Since you might be feeling more flexible it is tempting to stretch deeper and deeper but please try and refrain from doing this as you could injure yourself. Instead, hold back a little bit and focus on your breath.
I know I talk a little bit more in this class than I normally do but I want to make sure you are all staying safe and careful. Have lots lots of props close by such as pillows and blocks to accomodate a growing belly during your pregnancy and to make the class a bit more accessible.
What is Yin Yoga? Yin yoga is often called the Yoga of the joints because unlike other styles of yoga, the emphasis is not on the muscles but on the deep connective tissue. Connective tissue is made up of fascia, ligaments and tendons which surround and form your joints. Yin yoga improves the range of motion in your joints and also strengthens them. The results and benefits are more flexibility and greater range of motion and also more stability within your joints. Although your muscles will also be stretched, that is not the focus of the practice. It is best to practice yin yoga while your muscles are cold and NOT warmed up, even if that sounds counter intuitive. The reason we do this is so that we can send the “stress” and the “Stretch” to the connective tissues. If the muscles are warm they will steal the focus away from the joints.
There are 3 principles of Yin Yoga.
1. Find your edge
2. Be still
3. Hold the pose
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