It is really important because it helps with joint flexibility and mobility, balance and alignment. Injuries often happen when we have a weak link, are stiff or have poor balance.
2. What is the best, safest way for someone who is new to Yoga to start? Private lessons? Classes? Videos etc.
I always think it’s best to do a private if you can afford it so you can makes sure your form is correct. Second best is to go to a beginner’s class and get there early to let the teacher know you’re new and want to get corrected if you’re doing something without proper form. Lastly, you can get some good basic videos or watch a beginner’s class on line (I have a free 30 minute download on my site http://kristinmcgee.com/) and practice along to it. If you can do it in front of a mirror even better, this way you can look at your form.
3. If I just stretched for an hour a few times a week would that gives me the same benefits of a Yoga class? What’s the difference?
Yoga is different from stretching because of the breathing. In yoga we breath in and out through our nose and use the breath as a guide to go deeper in to the poses. Yoga is also an entire system of postures that help with strength, structure and stability. Stretching alone is good; but yoga will get you more mind body benefits and in overall better condition.
4. How did Yoga help with your pregnancy before and after?
Yoga was the best for me while I was trying to conceive it helped me relax and tap in to my body so I could slow down and prepare it for pregnancy. It was amazing during my pregnancy because it helped me feel good, helped with fatigue, kept me strong, helped me bond in a very connected way to my body and my baby growing inside and it helped me stay flexible and focused for labor and delivery. I bounced right back afterwards too!
5. Is there anything in Yoga that pregnant women can’t do or should be careful with?
Be careful with inversions, avoid any prone work after the first trimester, listen to your body when you’re lying on your back in certain postures, be careful not to overstretch since you have more relaxin hormone in your body, work on your balance but also be mindful not to fall, avoid deep twists that cross the midline of the body. Mostly just listen to your body. If you’re practicing with mindfulness you will know what feels ok and what doesn’t for you. Every woman is different. I was doing headstands up until I delivered; but I’ve also been practicing for 20 years. And enjoy your practice don’t be so paranoid that you feel you can’t do things, you’re fully able to do a majority of the yoga postures.
6. You are an inspiration to working Moms everywhere, how do you maintain balance with your career and home life?
I’m trying! It’s definitely a struggle to manage it all. Since Timothy was born I’ve had to be so good about time management. I also make sure I don’t multitask as much. When I am with him, I want to BE with him and not on my iphone. This way when I’m working, I can devote my full attention to work then and be more productive. I cherish every moment I have with him and I’ve had to scale back on my work load so I can have a happy balance. I also am finding more creative ways to work with him such as mommy and me yoga classes, photo shoots, videos, etc.
Author Bio: Kristin Mcgee is a fitness expert who has trained elite athletes, celebrities and models. Kristin teaches group classes and privates. She conducts retreats, contributes to magazines, has developed fitness DVD’s and appeared on television. Kristin has also launched a new app; Yoga and Pilates with Kristin Mcgee.