Can pregnant women do Bikram Yoga?

Asked by Conrad

2 answers

Firstly congratulations! When you are pregnant the body releases a hormone called Relaxin and Progesterone. Relaxin is the hormone that most concerns you in this instance. Relaxin prepares the body for labour / child birth and so physiological changes occur within the body. Ligament and joint laxity relax the body and therefore the body becomes a lot more flexible and relaxed. Bikram Yoga is not ideal for you as it would increase the stretching of the ligaments and joints past there normal ranges and therefore induce injury and ultimately stress to the baby. Don't forget that females are a lot more flexible than men, this is why women unfortunately are more prone to low back pain etc.
Best of luck
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Bikram yoga is done in very hot conditions. Obviously women who live in hot climates carry successful pregnancies and do yoga, probably when it is cooler. They are conditioned to the heat. Warm muscles stretch better than cold muscles but I would not advise Bikram yoga during pregnancy, nor hot tubs. The foetus is very sensitive to changes in temperature. You run the risk both of dehydration and of over heating the ovaries so don't do it. Find a sympathetic Iyenga, Anasara or Hatha teacher who has some experience of pregnancies.
Go back to your Bikram and the more intensive Ashtanga yoga once the hormones are settling down about two months after the birth. I wish you well. Our elder daughter has just discovered that she is pregnant.
John Perrott