The philosophy: By focusing on breathing, relaxing and meditating, and moving into certain safe yoga poses, you will more fully connect to your body and come to experience the power, joy and spiritual aspects of pregnancy.
What to expect: This varies according to the yoga studio, but generally involves learning how to use breathing and yoga poses to help stay relaxed, focused and calm and to move into positions to ease discomfort during labor. Some classes encourage husbands or partners to participate, too, so that they are prepared to support and work with women throughout labor. “This is a night where you and your partner have an opportunity to practice positions in labor, breath work, touch support and visualization, and basically start a dialogue with each other,” says Juliette Kurth, a doula and certified yoga instructor who, with her husband, conducts a labor support workshop for expectant couples in Silver Lake, Calif.
What to look for: A certified yoga instructor who has experience in working with pregnant women, preferably one who also has experience in childbirth education.
Watch out for: Inexperienced instructors, or those who have not worked with pregnant women and may not be aware of unsafe poses.
Where to find out more: Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful: Experience the Natural Power of Pregnancy and Birth With Kundalini Yoga and Meditation by Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa (St. Martin’s Press, 2003) and check out your local yoga studios.