Q: When should I start Prenatal Yoga classes?
A: You may start as soon as you feel ready. The classes and poses are suitable for all stages of pregnancy. Sometimes moms are feeling too tired or sick in the first 8-12 weeks to come to class, but others start as soon as they find out they have conceived. The sooner a woman starts, the more time she has to prepare her body, mind and heart for her journey through pregnancy and birth.
If you already have a yoga or other exercise practice, adding or switching to a pregnancy-centered class is a good idea. You can still adjust the difficulty levels up or down as desired, but you’ll know all of the activities are fully safe for pregnancy, and you’ll begin building your birthing mindset.
The yoga practice taught is a mindfulness-based practice, offering women the time, space and opportunity to let daily stresses go and focus on their breath, their baby, and the movement of their body. Ideally, moms will have begun their yoga classes by 12-16 weeks, but if not, it’s never too late. Even 3rd trimester moms are welcome to begin a prenatal yoga program. If you are experiencing any abnormal bleeding, pain, or have other medical concerns at any time during your pregnancy you should check with your doctor or midwife before beginning any exercise program.
Q: How late in pregnancy can I continue Prenatal Yoga classes?
A: Women can take prenatal yoga up until the day they deliver. Changes and modifications in their practice come as they progress through their pregnancy, and the instructors will help with this. Some moms have even been in yoga class in early labor! You will use what you have learned in class during your labor. Some moms come back saying that what they learned in yoga class was what they called upon most for patience, breath, relaxation, and pain coping during their labor.
Q: Do I need to register for yoga classes or can I just show up?
A: There are two different class formats offered at Harmony. Most classes are drop-in, unless specified on the class page, which means you can just show up without prior registration. Please our Location & Hours page to be sure you can find us in our building complex, and plan to arrive 5-10 minutes early your first time.
Make sure to let the instructor know if it is your first yoga class at Harmony, and she will get you settled and process your payment. Any class which indicates it is a Workshop or Session (Prenatal Couple’s Yoga and our kid’s yoga classes) meets on certain calendar dates and requires advance registration. The drop-in classes are on-going, however, occasionally they are cancelled due to major holidays or instructor illness, so if you are unsure, please check our calendar page for any special notices.
Q: I’ve never done yoga before. Is that OK?
A: Many women coming to Prenatal Yoga are new to yoga and having their first taste of it and it’s benefits during pregnancy, so you will fit right in! This is a class which can be adapted up or down for those at different levels, so no yoga experience is necessary. Pregnancy is a wonderful time to try yoga, since it is so easily adapted to the needs of pregnancy and has so many benefits for you and your baby.
Q: What is the difference between the Pure Prenatal and Prenatal Whole Birth Yoga classes?
A: The yoga portion of both classes is about the same, and varies in style from one instructor to the next. The Whole Birth classes also have an additional 45 minutes or so for discussion & sharing amongst the expectant moms. The Whole Birth Yoga instructor brings topics, or a question arises from the class regarding the experiences and decisions women are having throughout the pregnancy — topics like what classes to take, doctor or midwife recommendations, healthcare decisions, or preparing for birth or motherhood.
Because Harmony yoga instructors are also knowledgeable about pregnancy and parenthood and our goal is to provide well-rounded and personalized support and information, all classes will include some time for introductions and informing the instructor of any specific aches, pains, or day to day needs relevant to the class instruction, but only the Whole Birth classes include the discussion/support component. Many women participate in at least one Whole Birth class weekly, and then attend Pure Prenatal classes other times throughout the week in order to get more than just one day of exercise and relaxation per week.
Q: What do I need to bring, and what should I wear to a yoga class?
A: You should come dressed in comfortable clothes that allow freedom of movement (knit shorts, sweatpants and t-shirts or stretchy exercise/yoga pants and tank tops). You will be sitting on the floor and moving and stretching, so comfort and freedom of movement are important. Bolsters, straps and blocks are all provided by Harmony. Some yoga mats are available for use, but if you have your own mat, please feel free to bring it. It is important to stay hydrated in pregnancy, especially during exercise. Harmony has bottled water available for $1, or you can bring your own. Please avoid perfumes or scented lotions when coming to yoga class, as pregnant moms often have a more sensitive nose.
Q: If I don’t use up my classes before I have the baby, can I still use them afterwards?
A: Yes! Basic class credits are good for both prenatal and postnatal fitness classes and are valid for 18 months, so you can purchase the package that is most financially beneficial for you and rest assured you’ll have plenty of time to use them, even after the birth of your babe.
Q: When can I start Yoga ‘N Play with Baby after the birth?
A: Moms with an uncomplicated vaginal birth may begin as soon as their bleeding has stopped and they feel ready (please check with your doctor or midwife if you are unsure). Moms who gave birth by cesarean should wait at least 6 weeks and be medically cleared for exercise before beginning. Yoga with Baby classes are gentle exercise & play classes and can be modified to suit individual needs. Babies are welcome until they start crawling circles around you–after that you may find it more rewarding to join our Mamas & Movers class!
Q: When can I start other postpartum exercise classes, like Yoga for Moms, Pilates, etc?
A: Please wait at least 6 weeks postpartum before beginning any of these exercise classes, until you feel ready and have been medically cleared for exercise.