The practice of prenatal yoga seems to be rising in popularity in Singapore, and the number of options available for mums-to-be seem to be growing at the same rate as her baby bump. Once you’ve checked with your obgyn and been given the green light, it’s time to shop around for the right yoga studio for you. Here are a few options to get you started.
You like: You don’t know, you’ve never done yoga before!
Go to: Vanda Yoga (City Square Mall, Rochester Mall, SAFRA Toa Payoh)
Recommended for complete yoga newbies, prenatal yoga classes are taught using Birthlight principles and movements that are safe and gentle for mother and child. These include breathing techniques that aid in labour and provide an overall calming effect.
There are no more than 15 participants in each class, each encouraged to work within her own boundaries, with yoga blocks and cushions to provide support. Each 60-minute-long class begins with a short meditation and ends with deep relaxation. There is a special focus on the precious connection between mother and child.
What we like: Vanda Yoga sends out regular pregnancy newsletters packed with self-care tips for mums-to-be and new mums.
You like: Understated luxury in tranquil surroundings
Go to: COMO Shambhala Urban Escape (Delfi Orchard)
For those who prefer a luxurious and tranquil atmosphere, COMO Shambhala offers a conducive environment with prenatal yoga classes that focus on spinal alignment and toning of birthing muscles, as well as stamina and relaxation of both body and mind.
About 10 classes are held weekly and participants can choose to attend the 90-minute sessions as often as they wish. Group classes take up to 16 participants and mums can also opt for private sessions. Different props like exercise balls, bolsters, blocks and yoga chairs are used and classes often discuss active labour.
What we like: Dads are invited to join a quarterly role-play birthing workshop to help them prepare for their role as birth partner during labour.
You like: Intimate, cosy, small class sizes
Go to: OhmSantih Yoga (Bussorah Street)
The small class size – just five participants – offers a personalised approach to prenatal yoga based on Ashtanga yoga. With a holistic curriculum targeting different areas of pregnancy, OhmSantih Yoga helps mums-to-be work towards a smoother pregnancy and delivery. The studio has a very high rate of natural delivery among its students, many of whom return for postnatal yoga and contribute wonderful birth stories.
Before each 90-minute session, instructors will do a quick check with participants to find out how they are feeling in order to know how best to help them. Sessions begin with breathing exercises. Yoga blocks and straps are used, with locker and shower facilities available. The prenatal package of eight sessions (each with a different focus) has one that includes dads-to-be as well.
What we like: After each class, participants receive a hand-out to encourage safe practice at home and to recap what was covered in class.
You like: Learning with your partner
Go to: Beauty.Mums and Babies (Paragon)
Located in the heart of Orchard Road, this is a spa dedicated to mums and tots. It also offers prenatal yoga classes. Yoga rooms are equipped with full-height mirrors and lighting dimmers to create a cosy and conducive environment, and yoga mats and pillows are provided.
Small and intimate class sizes, with the number of participants ranging from three to 10, allow the instructor to provide better attention and guidance. Mums are also encouraged to develop their own private practice with postures that can help alleviate specific aches and pains during pregnancy.
Beauty.Mums and Babies also conducts yoga classes specially designed for expecting mums and dads to learn together, with up to just four couples per class.
What we like: Mums can also sign up for stress-relieving prenatal massages. Postnatal massage, baby hydrotherapy spa and mum-and-baby yoga classes are also available after baby is born.
You like: Solutions to pregnancy pains
Go to: Updog Studio ( 135 East Coast Road)
With a strong focus on creating a nurturing and uplifting environment, Updog Studio offers more than just breathing exercises, meditation, gentle stretches and sun salutations designed for the pregnant mum. The goal is to help mums manage the uncertainties of pregnancy and their new roles with both body and mind, through prenatal yoga.
Understanding the different changes mums-to-be go through from week to week, the highly qualified instructors get weekly updates from each participant and adjust each class based on individual needs. They also teach postures to relieve common pregnancy issues like fatigue, sciatica, lower back and shoulder pain. Prenatal yogis are advised to use bolsters, yoga blocks, and towels to ensure a comfortable experience. Participants should expect to feel energised and renewed after the session. Each 75-minute session ends with guided relaxation, and group discussions after that are encouraged.
What we like: Mums-to-be are invited to take part in free full-length trial lessons with no obligations, after which they may choose to sign up for a package or simply drop in for one-off sessions.