I’ve Never Been Pregnant – Can I Still Teach Prenatal Yoga?

I’ve been helping teachers feel confident teaching prenatal yoga since 2006, and I’ve never had a pregnancy yoga teacher training where this wasn’t asked by someone.

I understand the worry – I felt the same way starting to teach prenatal yoga while knowing nothing about pregnancy (except the basics).

But not having had an experience in that realm actually gives you some advantages.

I spent my first six years responding to students’ questions with “How does it feel to you?” and “Maybe give it a try and see what you think?” I developed a belief that as yoga teachers, it’s not only beneficial but it’s our main goal to help moms-to-be learn to connect with their own inner wisdom – not follow ours.

I watched my students learn to trust their intuition in online birth class, and later, when they came back with their babies, I could see that they were continuing to follow their own “Inner GPS” through the windy road of motherhood.

But once I had a baby, my brain was constantly trying to make connections: “I ate organic kale and my daughter is perfect, so you should too;” and “Half handstand felt great to me so definitely do those.” But the truth is, yoga isn’t about shoulds, because we just can’t know what will work for someone else.

It’s about offering principles and being there to support and guide for whatever our students decide to do with them.

Making a choice that feels authentic to her – even if we think it’s the wrong one – will serve her well throughout her journey to motherhood and beyond.

Whether you’ve been pregnant or not, giving moms-to-be ways to help her make space for baby in body, mind and heart is the place where we stand as prenatal yoga teachers.

You will find that some of your mamas are more open than others. In my experience, pregnant women taking yoga generally fall somewhere on a spectrum between fear and determination.

On the fear side, you might find someone who’s nervous about doing certain poses, and can really use a reminder that natural is powerful and wise. Can you change the direction of a waterfall? When nature decides to move in a direction, there’s not much we can do to change that.

On the determination side, someone might be powering through their practice, resisting any change and it can really help to offer little adjustments in poses. If they haven’t been making any changes in their practice or life, being home with baby and losing all that new moms sacrifice – our ability to go out when we want, our social life and career, even our sense of ourselves as someone who can complete a task – can be a serious shock to the system.

For the student who resists change, we can offer small adjustments to remind mama that she now has a yoga partner. Even moving her feet outer-hip width in Downdog can be enough to shift her consciousness.

Encourage all of your moms-to-be to add an online prenatal yoga class into their week. Not only will they learn specific adjustments, prep for labor, and make new mom friends – they’ll be making space for baby in body, mind and heart.

And always: trust your mom-to-be. In the first trimester, there is a 40% chance of miscarriage. What if mama does a deep backbend, questioning it the whole time, and has a miscarriage that week? She’ll probably be wondering for the rest of her life if it was the backbend that did it. This is a question we don’t want her to live with.

Original Source: https://bit.ly/2ZHERQQ

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