Can You Teach Yoga While Pregnant?

Have you recently started teaching yoga and have been hit with a pregnancy surprise? Or have you been teaching for years and are thinking about starting a family? 

If so, you are likely wondering how pregnancy will impact your classes and if it is safe to continue teaching while growing a baby.

In this article, we'll discuss what to consider during the pregnancy journey to ensure you can continue showing up for your yogis safely and comfortably. 

Is It Ok To Teach Yoga When Pregnant?

Pregnancy is different for every woman, so there is no black-or-white answer as to whether you should continue teaching. It all depends on how comfortable you feel and how your pregnancy goes. Still, many yoga teachers do continue teaching while they are pregnant. 

As teachers, we would allow our regular students to continue practicing yoga if they get pregnant, offering them modifications along the way. It is generally ok to practice yoga, assuming you have an existing practice.

As a yoga teacher, you clearly have an established self-practice, so it is fine to both practice and teach throughout your pregnancy. However, it's essential to realize that you likely won't be able to teach in the same way as before. You'll need to make modifications and avoid demonstrating certain poses. 

Moreover, there is no clear answer about when you should take maternity leave from teaching yoga. You should decide this based on how you're feeling, your energy levels, and the type of classes you teach. 

As energy levels can be up and down during pregnancy, it's important to honor your body and rest when needed.

Considerations & Modifications When Teaching Yoga While Pregnant

You may feel totally fine at the start of your pregnancy. But over time, you will notice the changes in your body and their effect on your teaching. With that in mind, here's what I recommend.

Avoid Demonstrating Certain Asanas

If you have a basic understanding of prenatal yoga, you will know there are certain asanas you should not do or demonstrate while pregnant. Generally, you should avoid any pose that puts pressure on your belly, including prone backbends like bow pose, deep twists, and forward folds. You may also want to avoid demonstrating inversions during this period. 

So does this mean you can no longer include these poses in your classes? Not at all; you can teach them but not demonstrate them. 

If you teach a group of regular yogis, you could teach the pose by verbal instruction only. But if you teach beginners, this will likely be more challenging. In this case, you should seek to use a more experienced student in your class as a visual demo.

Decrease The Number Of Classes You Teach

If you currently teach yoga full-time, you will likely have to decrease the number of classes you teach to preserve your lowered energy levels. 

It is essential not to overwork your body while pregnant because teaching and even standing for an hour will become more uncomfortable as your pregnancy goes on. Listen to your body and decrease your classes when you feel it is needed.

Slow Down The Pace Of Your Classes 

Another way to preserve your energy is to teach slower and gentler flows. If you typically teach fast-paced vinyasa, I recommend slowing down the pace gradually by incorporating longer holds and reducing the number of poses you need to demonstrate. You may also want to offer Yin or restorative-style classes instead.

Of course, if you change the style or pace of your classes, it is essential to communicate this with your students first. Many of your yogis will be ok with and enjoy the temporary slower pace. However, sharing this with your students beforehand will allow the vinyasa-lovers to switch teachers if needed. 

Shifting To Prenatal Yoga

One of the biggest benefits of teaching yoga while pregnant is experiencing firsthand what it is like for prenatal students. This experience will give you knowledge and skills to facilitate better classes for other expectant mums. In fact, many yoga teachers decide to shift to teaching prenatal or mum and baby classes during or after their pregnancy.

Shifting to prenatal yoga classes during your pregnancy can allow you to teach for longer, as all the poses you teach will be safe for you, and thus, you can continue to demonstrate. Teaching prenatal yoga while pregnant will also deepen the experience for your students, as they will see their teacher show the poses with her own pregnant belly.

Of course, suppose you typically teach general public yoga classes. It may not be practical to stop them entirely and start prenatal yoga classes where you have to find a completely new client base. 

Instead, you can reduce the number of general public classes you teach (while doing the modifications explained above) and add one or two weekly prenatal sessions to your schedule. That way, you'll reduce the physical load on your body without losing much income. 

Text Can You Teach Yoga While Pregnant?

Can You Do A YTT When Pregnant?

What if you have been dreaming of becoming a yoga teacher and are eagerly awaiting your upcoming yoga teacher training, to then find out you are pregnant? Does this mean you must cancel and put your dream on the back burner? Or can you still do the training course?

Again, there is no strict answer for this, but yes, it is possible to do a YTT while pregnant (as long as it doesn't coincide with your due date). Still, it is essential to tell your yoga school and course teacher that you're expecting. 

Most schools won't have a problem with you doing the course while pregnant, but they will need to know so they can modify it for you. There are specific asanas you cannot practice, but this should not hinder your performance or overall experience. Still, as energy levels can be up and down during pregnancy, it's important to honor your body and rest when needed. 

Final Thoughts On Teaching Yoga While Pregnant

While it is totally fine to continue teaching yoga while pregnant, how much you teach and for how long will depend on how you feel. Listen to your body, honor your energy, and cut back on the demonstrations you give. 


Gemma Clarke
Gemma Clarke is a yoga and mindfulness teacher and freelance wellness writer. She’s passionate about sharing her knowledge and experience through movement and words. Aside from helping others find more peace and stillness, Gemma is an advocate for stray cats and fosters orphaned kittens for a local animal rescue center.

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