Can anyone who does Yoga let me know if it is safe for me to start yoga classes while I am pregnant?
Yes, yes and another yes, BUT, please first make sure that the teacher is properly trained (not some wannabe) and also tell them that you're pregnant before you start. A good teacher will know what you shouldn't do - and there are some moves that should be avoided when pregnant, expecially inversions and some twists - and will always offer you an alternate pose.
Also, it's VITAL that you listen to your body while you do it, because what may be easy and comfy one week will hurt the next - that means STOP and ask the teacher for an alternate pose.
You'll probably find you carry much smaller and higher and that when you come to term you're far more comfy. The way that yoga works to strengthen the whole body as a unit making it work together which is THE best thing in pregnancy. GO FOR IT!
I highly recommend pregnancy yoga classes as yoga is a peaceful approach to whole bodied health at this critical, and important point in your, and your baby's life. A knowledgeable yoga teacher will know, as Labbie mentions, which classical yoga positions will put unecessary pressure on the baby, your pelvic floor, or encourage the baby to turn (as some inverted and semi inverted postures do) and rather encourage you to relax, keep mobile and active and stretch those parts that need to be opened for the easiest pregnancy and birth too.
I wish you luck in your pregnancy, and in finding a class - I don't know if i can mention this here, but I teach pregnancy yoga lessons at our LisboaYoga studio in Lisbon, its listed in the angloinfo directory under gyms and fitness...
For many women, their first introduction to yoga is often during pregnancy. From the minute the first trimester ends, doctors, midwives, parenting sites and magazines are all urging us to do yoga for a stronger body, calmer mind and – best of all - easier labour! Yoga is undoubtedly ideal for pregnant women. It increases flexibility, strength, circulation and balance. It helps women to become aware of and appreciate their bodies. It introduces us to the power of the breath and can reduce many typical pregnancy ailments – from back pain to insomnia and even heartburn. The best of luck with your pregnancy, and if it is your first, it is the most wonderful experience you will ever have, there is no love like it.