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How to Design a Prenatal Yoga class with a Connection to Labor

Practicing the Warrior is excellent support for 2nd stage

3 Things to keep in mind about labor when teaching prenatal yoga.

As a yoga teacher you are aware that you need to do modifications when teaching yoga to pregnant women. You know that prenatal yoga is generally a gentle flow class that is geared to all fitness levels. But, how do you teach prenatal yoga to a changing form and connect it to a specific outcome, in this case: labor. You want to have a general knowledge of labor so you can design your class to be as effective as it can be for the process of labor.

There are 3 Stages in labor. The first stage is the onset of true labor until the cervix is completely dilated to 10 cm. The second stage is the period after the cervix is dilated to 10 cm until baby is delivered. The third stage is the delivery of the placenta.

The first stage is divided into 3 phases. This stage is what you are most concerned about in designing your prenatal yoga class .

~ First Phase- Time of the onset of labor until cervix is dilated to 3 cm.

~ Second Phase- Active labor phase- Continues from 3cm until the cervix is dilated to 7 cm.

~ Transition Phase- Continues from 7 cm until is fully dilated to 10 cm.

Here are 5 Tips about designing a class around the first stage of labor:

1) Start Strong- In the first phase of Stage 1 the woman is energized and is extremely social and excited. With this in mind, start your class off strong with standing postures or a seated cat cow in bound pose. You would not change the pace of the class, just the posture sequence.

2) Internal Focus- In the second phase of Stage 1 the labor becomes more challenging and the woman becomes less social and focuses inward on the task of labor. The postures should focus on following internal energy and practicing the art of detachment. Postures may include child's pose, seated forward bends with props, and savasana.

3) Sustain and Let Go- The end of Stage 1 is the most challenging part of labor, there is a level of letting go that is necessary. This awareness is best brought in toward the end of class. Downward dog, child's pose sequence is most useful at this point. Sustained holding of downward dog and letting go into child's pose is useful in imitating the deep release required to allow the body to relax and the baby to be born.

About Carmela

Carmela Cattuti has taught prenatal yoga for twenty five years and is a pioneer in this specialty. She has trained yoga teachers in Miami, Savannah, and Boston to successfully teach yoga to pregnancy women. Her program is now available as an online course She is also giving away a FREE Module of her program. Download here.If you'd like to join her facebook group click here for free trainings and support. To contact Carmela email her at for questions.

Free Prenatal Yoga Module Intro

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