Monday, May 23, 2011

DVD Review ~ Yoga for Your Pregnancy

Yoga for Your Pregnancy featuring Kristin Eykel and published by Yoga Journal & Lamaze is a well designed, well presented, and well thought out production. The lighting, color and photography is superb.

The DVD offers two main practices for prenatal (30 minute Rejuvenating and 15 min Relaxation) plus an additional 16 minute postnatal practice. Other bonus tracks include Pranayama (7 min), Guided Meditation (5 min), Yoga in the Birthing Room (5 min), Lamaze philosophy overview plus interview with Carol Penn-Erskine (5 min) and a meet the teacher section (5 min).

The two prenatal practices showed variations for propping including using a chair but did not always offer alternatives if a pose was impossible in the body. For example, one of the poses offered was Camel. Now, as a therapeutic yoga teacher, I can say that maybe 1 or 2 of my 100+ students can do this pose without pain in the knees or the sacrum. Most of the folks I teach do not have the flexibility required for propless, high-test poses like Camel.

If an option for setting up blocks by the feet were presented, or an option for sitting on the chair and clasping the hands behind the back or at the chair-back while back-bending over the chair were presented, I would feel more comfortable recommending the DVD. But as a therapeutic teacher,  I felt very uncomfortable with a few of the omissions.

On the other hand, I know that the focus was on yoga for pregnancy and not every option can be covered in one DVD. The teacher seemed very knowledgeable about pregnancy, had been through a pregnancy herself and the other demonstrators on the DVD were pregnant themselves. I enjoyed learning more about Lamaze and since the teacher has a Kundalini background, I enjoyed the Kundalini-Hatha hybrid she presented.

One other curiosity: not once was Mula Bandha or the pelvic floor mentioned - not even in the postnatal practice. After birthing, I know pelvic floor exercises are a must-do to regain the tone required to avoid incontinence and to keep all the organs in place. I don't know a lot about pregnancy yoga so maybe someone can help me out here. Shouldn't a prenatal yogi practice Mula Bandha (kegel exercises)? Or is that too much upward energy before giving birth?