Many new yoga teachers ask me how to teach yoga to pregnant women. What poses are best for each trimester? What postures should I avoid? Many of these questions are important to answer, but much more goes into teaching prenatal yoga than just the postures. It is the emotional and spiritual energy in the room that really matters; the postures are secondary.
I developed my intuition through teaching prenatal yoga. If a student is distracted or is emanating low energy then you choose poses and cues that address those issues. When you learn to read the room with your intuition, then you have mastered the art of teaching prenatal yoga. It is sharpening your inner site and vision that holds together a yoga class. Once you do that, then you will know what postures to teach and which ones to avoid.
Here are 5 Tips to teach prenatal yoga with confidence and clarity.
1. Sharpen your intuition - Change your class to suit the energy in the room. If you sense that some students need to slow down and others need a more energetic practice learn to spit the difference. For example, have the students who need to raise their energy do tree balance with their arms extended above their head and the others who need to lower their energy place their hands in prayer.
2. The Breath- If you find the over-all energy in the studio is unbalanced begin with a slow simple abdominal breath against the wall or leaning on a ball. If the energy needs to be elevated then do a faster three part breath.
3. Keep the class moving- Make sure you know your fluid transitions from posture to posture. Design a practice that makes sense physically and requires very little thought. The whole purpose is to bypass the thinking mind.
4. Make connections- In a prenatal class it is important to know trimesters, where the student will deliver, and the due date. Refer to your students by name and ask how their trimester is going. This is important for recurring students.
5. Incorporate affirmations into your relaxation- While you're leading your students in relaxation pepper your imagery with positive affirmations to build confidence for the student.There are many physical, mental, and psychological issues that come with pregnancy. Affirmations are a great support. Here are some examples:
I always find solutions to problems.
I am now prepared for any changes in my life,
I am energetic and focused.
Confidence and clarity in teaching prenatal yoga starts and ends with the instructor. Use these 5 tips with the intention that they will work and your students will reap the benefits.
Check out the info-graphic below.
What students are saying about the program
The Online Prenatal Training was fantastic from start to finish -- and with the continued connection that Carmela provides, there really is no end to the support and learning one gets as part of this training. Each module is presented in several formats-- audio, video, photos, and written material to ensure that no matter your learning style, you will have a clear grasp of all the information covered. Carmela is an expert teacher, nurse, and yogini who knows how to distill complex information into manageable chunks for easy retention. There is plenty of material to refer back to as needed, as well. The course covers safe yoga sequences for all stages of pregnancy as well as the postpartum period, so you can confidently teach even a multilevel course with participants in different trimesters. I highly recommend this training!
Jacqueline Demeri, yoga teacher and author of Animooves: Yoga & Creativity Inspired by Animals, currently available on Amazon.
Extremely well put! I couldn't have said it better. Carmela was awesome.
JoAnn Sosa, owner of Synergy Yoga Ocala, Fl.
About the Author
Carmela Cattuti has taught prenatal yoga since 1994 and has a nursing background. She is the creator of the Online Prenatal Training for Yoga Instructors and Fitness Professionals. Download you FREE prenatal yoga teacher module here A new session starts on January 7, 2019. www.prenatalyogatraining.org.