Rachael Moore Answers Your Pregnancy Yoga & Yoga Flow Questions: Part Two
Read Part 1 here
5) What postures are totally off limits whilst I'm pregnant?
Rachael: The guidelines seem to always be changing and there are always some women that will continue exactly as they did pre-pregnancy with no issues. However, as a teacher responsible for your wellbeing whilst on my class I would never recommend strong backbends such as urdvha dhanurasana (wheel )or ustrasana (camel). Twisting and revolved postures are also not recommend because of the compression they cause across the abdomen. Inversions is another area I would approach with caution. As I mentioned, you will see people doing headstand/handstand during pregnancy. There are many reasons these are contra-indicated in pregnancy, (not least because of the injury you potentially cause to yourself if you fell out of one as your centre of gravity is constantly changing!) and although there is a safe modified version of Viparitta Korani (legs up against the wall) this is best being demonstrated and talked through with the teacher first so as relevant questions can be asked and props used.
Pregnancy is such an amazing, transformative time in a woman's life and in the scheme of things lasts for such a short while. I really believe this is a beautiful time to explore the more nurturing, nourishing and supportive elements of your practice. The emphasis shifts from the practice being all about your needs to that of being about the two of you and how it can best serve you both.
6) You use a lot of mudras in your flow classes. Could you tell us more about the significance of these?
Rachael: You're right! I do like to use mudras in my classes as I think it adds another subtle and energetic layer to the practice. This is a huge area that one can read about if it interests you, but very briefly, a mudra has many meanings. A mudra can include eye positions, body postures or breathing techniques as well as the more familiar haste (hand) mudras used in class, to convey a gesture, a seal or symbol. it is believed that mudras engage certain areas of the brain and/or soul and exercise a corresponding influence on them. These hugely symbolic gestures, depict certain states of consciousness, which can then help lead the practioner to the states of consciousness that that they symbolise. So for example, when we practice earth mudra in class, it is believed it will help promote feelings of security, confidence, strength and being grounded.
Rachael Moore teaches Yoga Flow and Pregnancy Yoga at Camyoga. For a list of her scheduled classes please click here. Rachael is also a member of our Teacher Training Faculty.