Fulton Family YMCA offers Prenatal Yoga for expecting moms

FULTON, NY – At the Fulton Family YMCA, we are about strengthening community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

One area where we are showing this is in our programming.

We are now offering a Pre-Natal Yoga class on Mondays 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.

Staying fit for you and baby is a very important part of healthy living.

Prenatal yoga classes provide a wonderful space for expectant mothers to attune to the child in class and in their lives; to revel in this time of growth and joy and to meet and share with other expecting mothers.

Each class will begin with 5-10 minutes of centering and breathwork; followed by warm-ups, asana (yoga pose) practice, cool-down, savasana (relaxation) and a final centering.

Our certified instructor, Karen Haas, RYT-200 (registered yoga teacher with 200 hours of training), will offer options for poses so students can adapt their practice for their level of fitness and experience.

Are there styles of yoga that aren’t recommended for pregnant women?

There are many different styles of yoga — some more strenuous than others.

Prenatal yoga and hatha (gentle) yoga are the best choices for pregnant women.

If they’re not an option, talk to the instructor about your pregnancy before starting any other yoga class.

Be careful to avoid Bikram yoga, commonly called hot yoga, which involves doing vigorous poses in a room heated to 100 to 110 F (38 to 43 C).

Bikram yoga may raise your body temperature too much, causing a condition known as hyperthermia.

In addition, ashtanga and other types of power yoga may be too strenuous for women who aren’t experienced yoga practitioners.

Are there special safety guidelines for prenatal yoga?

· Talk to your health care provider. Before you begin a prenatal yoga program, make sure you have your health care provider’s OK. You may not be able to do prenatal yoga if you are at increased risk of preterm labor or have certain medical conditions, such as heart disease or back problems.

· Set realistic goals. For most pregnant women, at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity is recommended on most, if not all, days of the week. However, even shorter or less frequent workouts can help you stay in shape and prepare for labor.

· Pace yourself. If you can’t speak normally while you’re doing prenatal yoga, you’re probably pushing yourself too hard.

· Stay cool and hydrated. Practice prenatal yoga in a well-ventilated room to avoid overheating. Drink plenty of fluids during prenatal yoga to keep yourself hydrated.

· Avoid certain postures. When doing poses, bend from your hips — not your back — to maintain normal spine curvature. Avoid lying on your belly or back, doing deep forward or backward bends, or doing twisting poses that put pressure on your abdomen. You can modify twisting poses so that you only move your upper back, shoulders and rib cage. Avoid inverted poses, which involve extending your legs above your heart or head, unless you’re an experienced yoga practitioner. As your pregnancy progresses, use props during postures to accommodate changes in your center of gravity. If you wonder whether a pose is safe, ask your instructor for guidance.

· Don’t overdo it. As you do prenatal yoga, pay attention to your body and how you feel. Start slow and avoid positions that are beyond your level of experience or comfort. Stretch only as far as you would have before pregnancy. If you experience any pain or other red flags — such as vaginal bleeding, decreased fetal movement or contractions — during prenatal yoga, stop and contact your health care provider.

Please contact the YMCA at 315-598-9622 to sign up for classes or to find out more about the classes we offer by logging onto our website at www.fultonymca.com, you can also connect with us on Facebook where you can get update information on what we have to offer.

About the Y

The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

Across the U.S., 2,687 Ys engage 21 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors.

Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change.