Rajashree’s Pregnancy Yoga – a Prenatal Bikram Series
Prenatal Bikram Yoga can be done alongside the rest of our students in ANY of our regular classes!
Yes, you CAN continue your yoga practice during pregnancy. Just let your instructor know that you need the alternative poses.
Rajashree Choudhury created the Pregnancy Yoga Series specifically for moms-to-be. The Bikram Yoga series is gently modified to suit those who are interested in maintaining their yoga practice throughout the duration of their pregnancy, so that the baby is protected while still doing the yoga postures you know and love.
As with any program, be sure to consult with your doctor. It is not recommended that you begin practicing any new exercise regimen during pregnancy if you have not done it previously. Please let us know if you have any questions at all!
Our co-owner, Emily, is happy to answer any questions and concerns you have about your practice during this special time. She is passionate about the benefits yoga will provide you and your baby! In 2012 she completed Rajashree’s Pregnancy Yoga Seminar at Kripalu, with Rajashree Choudhury, who is a certified yoga therapist under the American Pregnancy Association, and Dr. Doreen Wiggins, MD, who is the founder of the Center for OB/GYN in Providence, Rhode Island and a prominent educator at Brown University, as well as an avid Bikram yogini.
From a women’s health perspective
Kathy Bell, MS, CRNP
Pregnancy is an optimal time for a woman to focus on being healthy in body, mind, and spirit. Eating a healthy diet, getting adequate sleep, and exercise are basic to growing a healthy baby while optimizing personal health during the incredible time of pregnancy. Bikram Yoga can be a safe and enjoyable part of any healthy pregnancy. Yoga exercises and stretches joints and muscles that are often stressed during pregnancy, and improves efficiency of the internal organs.
Bikram Yoga focuses on one posture at a time, isolating specific parts of the body without concern about moving too
quickly or improperly. Moving at one’s own pace is accepted and encouraged. Women who practice Bikram Yoga during pregnancy note their ability to remain flexible, stay in shape, relieve back pain, sleep better, and have smooth, successful deliveries of healthy babies. They develop the appreciation for and trust in their bodies, strengthen their focus, and build confidence. These are the skills needed for birth.
Worried about the heat? Remember that much of the world lives without air conditioning in temperatures that exceed the hot room in Bikram yoga. Just as in pregnancy and birth, our bodies know what to do to keep our core temperature controlled to optimal levels.
Trained and Ready to Help You
All of our instructors at Bikram Yoga Baltimore have been taught the Pregnancy series and can show the posture modifications to you. Two of us have even continued practicing throughout our own pregnancies! We will help you know and listen to your own limits, and give you the confidence to know you are both supporting your child and maintaining your own health by continuing to take care of your body during your pregnancy.
Additional questions about the Pregnancy Yoga Series may be directed to Emily Garner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interested in what other Mothers-to-be had to say about Pregnancy Yoga?
Read on for Rajashree’s Pregnancy Yoga Testimonials
“I have been practicing Bikram Yoga on and off for about 4 years. When I got pregnant, I decided to practice at least once a week right up until the end of my third trimester. It proved to be very challenging. Every posture felt like climbing Everest, but the benefits were amazing. I was able to sleep better and the symptoms of my sciatica became non-existent. The real results became apparent during labor when I used my strength, flexibility, and breathing techniques from Bikram to have to have a quick and uncomplicated delivery. My doctor commented that it was the fastest delivery she’d ever seen from a first time mom.” – Sarah Hill
“I was practicing Bikram Yoga 2 years before becoming pregnant, and it became a part of my lifestyle. I was concerned I would have to stop once I became pregnant, but was fortunate enough to be able to continue after clearance from my doctor. What I found was that with Bikram Yoga, I was able to focus on mind and body during my pregnancy without the intensity of the regular practice. The modifications that were made not only served to keep my heart rate in check, but also helped my joints and muscles that would be used during my delivery. I found that practicing during my pregnancy was also my outlet. I was only able to get to class one day a week, but it was my energy release. The yoga helped keep my muscles strong and stretched, and decreased fluid retention in my legs in the later months. In addition, having muscle tone during pregnancy made it much easier to return to exercise and pre-pregnancy weight after delivery.” – Michelle Turner
“I’ve been doing Bikram yoga for over 5 years, so when I started trying to become pregnant, I knew I wanted to continue doing it through my pregnancy. At my “advanced age” of 39, I knew I would have some struggles with the process of becoming pregnant as well as maintaining my health through pregnancy. I believe Bikram helped me with all that. My first trimester was challenging, and there were times when it was just enough for me to drag myself to class and sit out half the postures. I realized that I had to learn to take it easy to help support my changing body and the life inside. The yoga helped with my morning sickness and general fogginess I was feeling at the beginning of my pregnancy. I used to feel that I had to be so hard-core through the whole 90 minutes, but it wasn’t just about me. The yoga wasn’t all about pushing my limits: it was about growing-literally and mentally. I had to learn to pace myself, really listen to and respect my body and build a strong foundation for the months ahead.”
“The weather was getting hotter and my belly was getting bigger. One of the pregnant yogis gave birth and another one was a few months behind me, and it was starting to become real now. We all knew the little pregnant yogi community was really a stop on the train station, and I was next to get on board. I was no longer going to be able to keep playing “bring your baby to yoga.” I was continually amazed that I could still do camel pose at 8 months, and I felt wonderful. I didn’t have back problems or heartburn like a lot of my other pregnant friends. I respected my changing body; yoga really helped me learn how to do that. I gained the right amount of weight, kept my blood pressure right where it needed to be, and everything was going great. I had really enjoyed my pregnancy, and I thought we could just cruise right to the finish line. Then about 6 weeks before my due date, we found out that our little man wasn’t turning around. He was breech. I came to yoga even more, practically standing on my head every chance I got. We tried everything, but he was a stubborn little guy. I had to resign myself to a scheduled C-section and not the natural birth I had hoped and planned for. I continued to go to yoga to help myself let go of the frustration about not having a natural birth as I wanted It’s all about letting go of what you can’t control, and it’s a tough lesson, but the yoga helped me through that struggle.”
“I went to class the morning of July 13, just like any other day. I waddled myself in and had a great class. And that did it. My water broke the next morning, and I went through 5 hours of natural labor. The nurses and my doula were amazed at how I was able to breathe through it since my labor escalated very quickly. I’m sure I mumbled something about the awesomeness of yoga. So at least I got 50% natural! Tyler Jacob Misewich came flying into the world nine days early, butt first! He was definitely doing some standing head to knee on his way out!”
“In the months after the birth, I was dealing with a lot of back pain from hunching over and learning how to nurse with our little man. Who knew that my little guy would feed every 2 hours for 45 minutes at a time! Yoga to the rescue! All the spine strengthening postures that I always hated–I desperately needed them. I never understood how important those (annoying!) postures were to maintaining a strong back when breastfeeding. And now that Tyler is growing like a weed, I need my balance postures to help lift and carry him around without fear of falling over all the toys scattered around the floor. And it’s the same 26 postures that I’ve been doing for years, but I need different ones every day. I’m back at work, so Locust fixes my “keyboard wrists.” Standing bow gets me focused and Rabbit still annoys me, but it teaches me that I’ve still got some work to do on my spine. The yoga is still a workout, but that’s secondary now. It gets me through all the different stages of life, the ups and downs, the serious lack of sleep, and it gives me 90 minutes that I have completely to myself. When the instructors say “Please keep the room quiet when you leave, as this may be the only peace and quiet some people get all day,” I did not know how true to life that statement would be!” –Erika Misewich