It’s a fact: pregnancy can send your body completely haywire. From sore backs to dodgy hips, women suddenly find themselves contending with a whole list of unexpected physical changes, but pregnancy yoga is here to help.
Offering specialised exercise classes designed to strengthen the body, pre-natal yoga keeps you flexible and helps put a stop to many annoying niggles. What’s more, it’s a great opportunity to learn breathing techniques that can help during labour, and meet fellow mums-to-be. So where are the best places to go to and adopt the child’s pose while preparing for your future offspring? We tried out pregnancy yoga classes across London.
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London’s best pregnancy yoga classes
A bright, airy yoga centre on Lavender Hill, Union Station offers free tea before and after classes, plus water in reusable jars. Pregnancy classes take place in a cosy studio downstairs, where a friendly instructor will take you through breathing exercises and a series of dynamic movements to keep you strong and supple. The section focusing on the pelvic floor is particularly useful.
Clapham Junction. £16 pay as you go, packages also available.
Home of brightly coloured studios and fun, quirkily named classes like ‘Quickie Ass & Abs’ or ‘Frame Rave’, Frame also specialises in pre and post-natal fitness, with a whole range of classes available, as well as ‘Mumhood’ training plans you can do from home. The pregnancy yoga offers a small, welcoming class and a range of moves from deep squats to balances to the classic downward dog.
Available at Shoreditch, King’s Cross and Victoria studios. £15 pay as you go, memberships available.
The woman behind Sundara Mama, Lucy Horton, is a doula and hypnobirthing teacher, as well as a yoga instructor, and her knowledge of pregnancy and birth is evident in her classes. It’s a great session if your body is feeling stiff or tense, with postures and stretches that gently loosen up tight areas.
Notting Hill, Twickenham and Richmond. £15-£17 pay as you go.
Yogahaven’s bright and airy Clapham Common studio is a great place to meet fellow mums and enjoy a class that intersperses vinyasa flows and warrior poses with breathing exercises and useful information on the various stages of labour. A good option for anyone feeling unsure about the birthing process (aka, almost all new mums).
Clapham Common and Richmond. £17 pay as you go, packages also available.
You can see where this place gets its name – a high-ceilinged, sunlit upstairs space houses the large studio, which offers two pre-natal classes a week. There is also a second Yoga Loft opening on the other side of Queen’s Park in September 2019, which will also house pre- and post-natal reformer pilates, as well as more mother-and-baby classes.
Queen’s Park. £16 pay as you go, packages also available.
A gentle class good for the later stages of pregnancy, this Putney session has a nice long shavasana for weary mums-to-be. It’s also a good option if you’re suffering from hip issues or sciatica; many of the exercises you’ll do here are similar to those recommended by physiotherapists.
Putney. £17 pay as you go, packages also available.
Taking place in a simple but spacious studio in Islington, this Saturday-afternoon class is taught by Elisa Lee, who specialises in pre- and post-natal yoga. It’s a vinyasa-based class, with moves tailored to pregnancy, and includes partner work, such as deep squats balancing out each other’s weight.
Islington. £13 pay as you go.
With studios across London from Ealing to Shoreditch, Triyoga has plenty of pregnancy classes and instructors to choose from. The classes are suitable for both beginners and experienced yogis, and are designed to prepare you for birth, strengthening the body for labour and developing breath awareness.
Various locations across London. £17 pay as you go, packages and memberships available.
Expect to fire up your pelvic floor for this class; strengthening exercises for these vital muscles are incorporated into the yoga sequences, which have just the right amount of challenge for expectant mums. It’s also worth noting that this studio offers beauty treatments and therapies, including a dreamy-sounding ‘pregnancy massage’.
Vauxhall. £16.75 pay as you go, packages also available.
This welcoming yoga studio offers a Friday-night pre-natal class, with a focus on calming techniques to prepare women for the experience of birth. An added bonus for mums-to-be: there is a toilet just off the studio, so you can make a mid-class dash with minimum fuss!
Dalston. £12 pay as you go, packages also available.