I have said this to many of my friends – you may or may not work out during your pregnancy but please make sure that you practice a bit of yoga during your pregnancy, even if you have never done it before. What is more – this could be your initiation into the magical world of yoga and meditation, which looks holistically at the fitness of the body and the mind. In this section we recommend the best pregnancy yoga dvd for every user level.
But first let us examine the benefits
- Yoga exercises will strengthen your back, arms, shoulders and hips – all of which will definitely come in use as the weight of the baby increases. Yoga also relieves stress in the group of muscles that is most affected by the growth of the baby – back, chest, neck and shoulders.
- Most yoga DVDs have specific sections on deep breathing which aids in relaxation. In addition to this yoga also stresses on conscious breathing which will be a lifesaver during labor.
- Last but not least – yoga allows us to slow down from the whirlwind of activities and focus attention on our bodies and what is happening within our bodies. This is something that most people tend to ignore – but I guarantee you that continuous engagement with your body will increase your satisfaction level about the whole experience.
As I have stressed in the pregnancy exercise section I truly believe that yoga should be performed under the supervision of trained experts in classes where you can also benefit from connecting with fellow travellers in the pregnancy road.
But in case you want to supplement the classes with some home yoga, here are my top recommendations.
LOWER INTENSITY – For Beginners and for those who prefer light workout
This is my top recommendation for beginners and even for others who might have done some yoga in the past. This is because it is always better to be in the safe side when you are going through the pregnancy.
- Good emphasis on stretching and on developing pelvic areas
- Short Workout – 30 mins
- Good if you are starting late in your pregnancy
- A little boring
- Some reviewers found the voice over annoying
- Not very challenging for experienced yoginis
MODERATE INTENSITY – For those who prefer a little more intensity.
For people with some exposure to yoga and exercise before pregnancy, who want something a little more challenging but do not want to risk a high intensity workout.
I was torn between the one with Desi Barlett and Prenatal Yoga with Shiva Rea DVD as they both have pretty much the same intensity. If you are ok with a little spiritual chatter choose Shiva Rea as she is a more well known expert and therefore more reliable in terms of the poses she suggest. Else I would suggest you to go with Desi Barlett as it is also available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
Shiva Rea’s video is composed of three sections
- Breathing and meditation
- Seated Poses; standing poses, stretches and floor work.
- Guided relaxation
Rather than having separate sections for each trimester, all three modifications for pregnancy are shown together, making it easier to follow along if you use it from the beginning of your pregnancy. For people jumping in late – that might be problematic.
- Focus is on relaxation and light exercises, with modifications for each stage of pregnancy.
- High end production values and minimalist set. Music is calming.
- Great massage section which you can use to get your partner educated
- Different sections allow you to pace your workout throughout the day, especially if you have older children.
- The music is new-age without vocals. Some people found her voice overs distracting and sometimes not matching with what is going on.
- Lot of spiritual chatter which again may not be palatable for everybody.
- Some of the poses are rushed.
And with regards to the DVD by Desi Barlett, it begins with 2 mins of meditation, followed by 10 mins of floor postures targeted at the core. This is followed by 20 mins of standing postures consisting of hip opening moves and squats, and some strength building postures. This is all followed by 10 mins of restorative poses.
- Even balance between stretching, strengthening and meditation.
- Better for beginners than Shiva Rea.
- Voice over as opposed to the person doing poses talking.
- Workout time is too short and there is a quick shift in the poses which may not work for everybody.
- Some call it boring, you are not going to work out a sweat or build any strength
- Some customers complain that the workout does not seem to be designed with pregnant women in mind.
I would only recommend the Desi Barlett if you don’t enjoy the spiritual aspects of Shiva Rea’s yoga workout.
FOR EXPERIENCED YOGINIS ONLY
If you are experienced with yoga prior to pregnancy, then this might be valuable to you, else I would not recommend it as you might derive more benefit from some of the easier yoga dvds. If you are a yoga practitioner then this might be the only one to consider. But I am somewhere in the middle and I still feel that this is not something I would use for later stages of my pregnancy.
- It features 15, 30, 45 & 75 Minute Practices so you are free to choose the workout that suits your schedule and energy level.
- Each trimester has its own workout so you dont have to modify the same workout.
- A little too strenuous for people who have not done intensive yoga before
- Not for people with knee problems, would suggest that you use towels to provide the cushion.
- On your low energy days all you are looking for is a stretching/reinvigorating routine and those short programs are missing in this program
- Camera work is not the best, making it difficult to follow along if you are not already aware of the poses
So there you go – these are my suggestions for the best pregnancy yoga DVDs. I did not recommend others like this Prenatal Yoga DVD Vinyasa Workout with Julie Schoen which is new and seem to have collected a substantial number of reviews in a short period of time – which suggests that many of these are paid reviewers. You can try and verify and let me know your thoughts.