I get asked about prenatal yoga DVDs pretty often. My first question to the people asking is if they are already doing a yoga practice or have done one in the past. If they have then I am quick to give a recommendation based on what they are looking for in their prenatal yoga and based on the practice they had. If not then I am quick to recommend they find a studio with a certified prenatal yoga instructor that can educate them about body alignment and modifications for their trimester and/or specific body issues. Yoga DVDs are awesome but be honest with yourself if you need a bit more instruction before venturing out solo with a DVD.
Here are my fave videos…
1. Prenatal Yoga DVD by Shiva Rea… Shiva Rea is Gaiam’s go-to gal. The woman is a great yogini, great teacher, has a compassionate heart and is so much fun to be around. I have only been around her at yoga festivals but she is good people. Her prenatal video is pretty well-thought out with a blend of meditative and asana (poses) practice. It works for me but I am also able to really crank hard on some poses with my own home practice. This is the video I use at home during my own pregnancy when I want some guidance. Note you can rent this 57 minute video on youtube for $3.99.
Here is an excerpt:
2. Prenatal Kundalini Yoga and Meditation for Mothers to Be by Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa – Gurmukh is one of the godmothers of prenatal yoga in the U. S. in my humble opinion. She is also responsible for the book Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful: Experience the Natural Power of Pregnancy and Birth with Kundalini Yoga and Meditation which I enjoy referring to when wanting some inspiration for my classes. She is a Kundalini person which focuses on a good deal of energy alignment, and her DVD has a heavy meditative focus. If you are looking for less of a cranking out the asana workout from your DVD and more of a thought/intention focus then this is a good match for you. My prenatal mentor also did her training under Gurmukh even though she is an Ashtangi, she has since gone on to develop more of an asana-focused prenatal practice but also refers to what she learned from Gurmukh for the intention building in her classes.
3. Pregnancy Yoga: A Practice for Each Trimester with Cathy Louise Broda – This isn’t a very talkative/meditative video but more of a work focus with the calmness of the background taking care of the serenity. The instructor is preggo with twins here. Overall a great asana-focused series of workouts since Cathy comes from an Ashtanga background and I highly recommend this video for those looking for more of a traditional cardio/strength workout.
4. Jennifer Wolfe’s Prenatal Vinyasa DVDs – Jennifer is the most social media savvy of all the recommendations I am doing and if you tweet prenatal yoga anywhere in your twitter stream she will pop up as @PrenatalYoga and most likely mention her DVD with some sort of special offer. I recommend her videos as the ones where you will also get the more traditional effects of a workout from. Vinyasa is the focus of movement with your breathwork (pranayama) so this will also be close to a combo of cardio and strength training. Jennifer is also really good about safety precautions with the pregnant body because not only is she a certified yoga instructor but she also trains doulas. She has the most formal understanding of the pregnancy and labor process for this reason beyond the motherhood experience.
Please feel free to leave ANY thoughts or comments on the topic of prenatal DVDs if you have something to share. There are so many out there that many newly pregnant people get intimidated in the process of picking one. Do you also recommend these, disagree with my recommendations, or have other videos you recommend? Please share.