During pregnancy, a lot of changes take place in the musculoskeletal system as a way of compensating for the growing fetus. This will have a great effect on posture, balance, and gait (aka the waddle). These changes often can lead to backache, fall, divarication of recti, and more. Therefore we should always take into account these changes in the body, when practicing and also when teaching yoga classes to a mama to be.
Postural changes include:
- Increased curvature of the spine (lumbar) as well as the behind the neck (cervical)
- Shoulders move forward and inward (increased protraction)
- Legs are wider during standing
- Head and sacrum tilt backwards
Postural effects may be worsened if there are existing spinal issues e.g scoliosis, weakness of the core muscles, too much weight gained during pregnancy.
Also, as the abdominal muscles and the muscles of the hips begin to stretch, they can no longer support the body with proper integrity. This translates to other muscles taking over and voila! You begin to stand and walk in a way that you never have before, and suddenly you have to change the way you practise your yoga poses too! These include;
No more twisting like a knot! During pregnancy, it is best to avoid closed chain twists since it may affect blood flow to the baby. Instead focus on open twists emphasizing on creation of space on the baby.