8 Tips For Teaching Pregnancy Yoga

Teaching Pregnancy Yoga is so special because you see how much yoga can support and transform a pregnant woman. You also get to see how much all the seeds that you had sown in class about active birth, self-empowerment, and motherhood can come into action. 

This brings me to my first tip……

1. Encourage self-belief

If you want to be a pregnancy yoga teacher that everyone recommends you absolutely have to offer the whole package. The yoga poses are a small part of the whole experience. By also incorporating self-belief, pelvic floor, perineal massage, birthing positions, relaxation for birth techniques and Sound/Letting go you are without a doubt going to make a positive impact on their birth experience whether it is vaginal or surgery, by their birth plan or not. Why do so many yoga teachers leave their training and not bother with all these really important topics? If you want to stand out from the rest, then offer these and more!

2. Create a support group for women

The yoga studios and teachers that stand out from the rest not only offer all of the above but they also create a community for their students. It’s a great way for women to connect with one another and make friends. Many people are now giving birth without family near or in the same country. Always include introductions at the beginning of each class so everyone can say hello and who they are. Even though you have heard their names lots of times, there may be someone new in the class that hasn’t. Many friendships for life have been formed from attending pregnancy yoga classes and many times will these women be back on their 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc pregnancy together.

3. Pushing safely

Of course, pushing in birth in the right position is so important but what I mean here is in class. Birthing a baby requires both great effort and the ability to totally let go. If you create a class that cultivates a balance of effort and surrender in your class it will be ingrained in their memory but not just in their brain but in their muscles too. Remember to include poses that build strength, that encourage rest and breath awareness.

Pushing too hard is not going to help either. Watch out for women overdoing it and overstretching especially in the last few weeks of pregnancy when hormone levels are rising causing muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints to soften and relax more.

4. Appreciate comfort

Using positive and encouraging language creates a positive and safe environment as does making sure everyone is comfortable. Blankets and cushions are very cheap in IKEA. A small bit of comfort goes a long way in pregnancy. One of my favorite purchases is my funky wheelie shopping bag, that fits about 10 blankets and a few cushions.

5. Work with instincts

I’m a true believer in not teaching too many different breathing ‘techniques’ or teaching that a certain type of breathing is the ‘best’ for birth. Teaching your students to breathe the most comfortable way they find works for them is the best breathing ‘technique’ you can give them. Keep it simple but effective. Most people coming to your class are first-time yoga students so you want to make it as simple as possible in order for them to remember throughout their pregnancy and especially during the birth of their baby and in motherhood.

6. Lighten up

Be humorous. Laughing is a great way to help dilate a cervix and release more happy hormones. Lots of fears can engulf women during their pregnancy. Lighten up your class a little with some humor. Sometimes if I think everyone is being way too serious, halfway through a class I will throw some funky music on and get everyone to get groovy! Just because you are pregnant doesn’t mean you have to give up dancing! It’s a great way to let go in a room full of mostly strangers and for those who find it hard in class to make noise, tell them to start practicing in the shower at home. Another great place to let go of all those inhibitions.

7. Love yourself

Look after yourself! We know this already but have to be reminded so many times. As a yoga teacher, you are looking after so many people it is so easy to forget yourself. Stay hydrated, eat well, and take time out if you need it. Teaching pregnancy yoga can sometimes make you feel you are saying the same thing all the time. Although your students don’t notice this, you do. Take 2 classes off in a row to recharge the batteries. Remember if you are demonstrating not to always favour the most flexible side. Balance it out.

8. Embrace your qualities

Stop comparing yourself to every other yoga teacher out there. You are supposed to teach like YOU! Your students have chosen your class for a reason, and they show up week after week because they get something positive from the time they spend with you. Whether there is 3 or 23 in your class you are still helping them transform their lives in a very positive way. Yay!
We have had many students return to The elbowroom to take a module they wanted to refresh their memory on. It’s a good way to recharge the batteries and get some new or be reminded of some great tips and ideas.

Do you want to follow in the footsteps of countless midwives, mothers & doula’s who are now teaching pregnancy yoga?

Our training course teaches you how to empower women through their journey of pregnancy and birth. https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/classic/ws?studioid=1638&stype=-13&sTG=11&sView=day&sLoc=0&sTrn=100000038&date=05/23/20

For more information about how you can become a Pregnancy Yoga Teacher please email training@the-elbowroom.com or call 083 435 96 41.

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