Who said a pregnant woman can't work out?
Pregnancy is beautiful and those nine months are wonderful yet intricating for the mother. It's a unique bond and feeling to create, grow and give birth. During pregnancy, a woman needs to take care of her as well as the little beautiful life growing inside her. One of the best ways to keep yourself fit is through yoga and pilates. Yes! absolutely! You can surely workout! We draw one such inspiration from our energetic yogi who became a mum recently - Sabrina Lubas, a certified Yoga Teacher who is known for Blue Tiger Yoga in Paris.
Sabrina specialises in Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga along with Yinasa Flow and Yin Soft across Paris. She is a renowned yogi in France and has been a constant inspiration for us. During her own pregnancy, she performed yoga and kept herself truly healthy, calm and delivered a healthy baby. We exclusively interviewed her to know about her beautiful pregnancy journey and her experience with prenatal yoga.
When is it a good time to start a prenatal yoga class?
Prenatal yoga can be practised at any time, however, I recommend to start from the fourth month i.e second trimester in order to deeply feel the sensation and connection with the baby and to prevent some of the pregnancy troubles such as back pain and digestion problems.
How different is a prenatal yoga class compared to a regular yoga class?
The main difference will be on the objectives and intensity. Usually, a prenatal yoga class is more slow and less on getting out of the comfort zone. I do provide a safe space to practice giving time to breathe. Breath is the key when you are pregnant as it will help during contraction or the D-day!
Prenatal yoga classes are really focused on the state of the future mothers, on how they feel and their pain of the day. It’s a lovely moment to create space for you and the baby in the body. A nice way to stretch away all the aching parts.
Can I still attend a regular yoga class instead of prenatal?
A regular class can be attended if the future mother is not too tired and still feels normal practising it. However, according to the trimester, the mother will have to be more attentive and should adopt her practice in order to protect her body. Some of the yoga poses we practice in a « regular » class should be avoided especially the ones concerning the abs or inversions if the practitioner is not familiar with it.
What does one need to keep in mind while attending a regular yoga (ie: not prenatal) class?
Yoga is not a challenge, is not about perfection is about experiencing. It’s a trip through the body and mind. A way to understand how you work from the inside. A way to see how far you can go in order to apply what you learn on the mat on your daily routine/life. It’s important to keep in mind that you should enjoy what you are doing, to feel good, relax, regenerated. It doesn’t matter how beautiful you look or not!
Is it okay to practice hot yoga during pregnancy?
Well, I would not recommend it. When you are pregnant the body temperature already increased due to the augmentation of the blood in the body. Moreover, the high temperatures have an impact on the heartbeat of future mothers and can have consequences on the baby. You can suffer more easily on dehydration and vertigo. The high temperature can have a non-reversible impact on the fetus. This also why Spa, jacuzzi are forbidden while pregnancy.
Which yoga poses did you avoid during your pregnancy?
An inversion if one hasn't it practised it before, with means all the time! I still practice Sarvangasana but it’s completely modified and adapt to the need of the body. It allowed creating space opening the rib cage. I also do not practice the posture that will have an impact on the abs, especially the rectus muscle. But I still work on the transverse though with is very important to maintain the body and back.
If someone has never practised yoga before, can they still come for a prenatal yoga class?
Of course! As for regular yoga practice, there is not prerequisite! It’s for every single person. Then we adapt according to the students we have in front of us. Prenatal yoga targets particularly the back and more specifically the spine, the hips, mobility and breath.
How did you benefit from prenatal yoga?
Well, prenatal yoga is a way to prepare the labour: we learn some postures for the delivery. It was essential for me as I gave birth naturally without epidural anaesthesia. So I was able to get focus on my breath, to move according to my needs and what was the best during the labour in order to facilitate my baby’s arrival.
When Margot finally arrived, she was completely relaxed, she didn’t cry, she had wide open eyes. Today my baby is very awake to her environment. She can already maintain her head alone. Physical activities are essential while a mother is pregnant, it stimulates the fetus and has a very positive impact on the baby's growth.
How far into the pregnancy did you practice yoga?
I practised regular yoga classes until the seventh month and then continued until the end with just prenatal yoga.
When did you go back to your regular yoga practice after your pregnancy?
I will start this week! After eleven weeks of giving birth. My perineum was not ready yet to endure a strong practice. It’s really important to listen to your body especially after giving birth because so many things have changed especially some of my feelings and sensations. Moreover, my perineal rehabilitation was not done yet. You can practice postnatal yoga after 6-8 weeks of giving birth.
Did you face any difficulties going back to normal yoga routines?
Not really. I think the most difficult is to reorganize your schedule, knowing that you do not have any family member close enough to babysit, so I manage my time between the schedule of my husband and I. I bring my daughter, Margot most of the time to the yoga classes. Hopefully, in September 2019, I will find a better solution for her. And the last thing to always have patience. I wished to practice normal yoga and sports routine but my body was not ready yet. Hence, I followed the rehabilitation process before going back to normal practices.
Did you practice postnatal yoga?
At first, I only did breathing exercises. The first two weeks my body gelt tired and definitely wasn't ready. Postpartum can be tricky and not easy to go through. I did start postnatal after 3/4 weeks after birth. Afterwards, when I subscribed to free youtube videos as I had no time to for postnatal yoga classes. The good thing with postnatal it’s that you can practice with your baby, so my daughter, Margot is very often with me either on the mat or next to me.
Hence, prenatal yoga is for all the budding mothers who are new or have been practising yoga in the past. It is indeed the most peaceful and effective way to calm and relax the body. It's also effective for the baby in many ways. It helps in brain development. Through prenatal yoga, the baby weight is under controlled. Prenatal yoga also helps strengthens pregnant women's tummy, back and pelvic floor muscles. These body parts are sensitive and can cause problems during pregnancy and after birth. Hence, practising pilates help equips your body to cope better with the strains caused by the weight of your growing baby and strengthen tummy muscles.
For pregnant mothers, yoga helps to improve sleep and reduced stress. At the same time, it increases strength, flexibility and endurance. One major issue that pregnant women face is back pain. Yoga helps to eliminate this problem. Simple techniques of meditation can cure headaches. You can learn these skills, techniques and asanas from Sabrina Lubas who teaches Prenatal Yoga widely in Paris. Check out her website to know more and attend her classes. http://www.bluetigeryoga.com/
Compiled by Simran Mohta