Practicing prenatal yoga has a vast number of benefits and can help to support women throughout their pregnancy as well as their birth.
Physically, prenatal yoga allows us to stretch and strengthen muscles which can aid in the relief of ailments such as lower back pain, sciatica and other discomforts associated with pregnancy. Creating awareness of the pelvic floor is another huge benefit for women as it is under a greater strain during this time. We practice techniques that not only help it strengthen but also to relax. Maintaining a healthy, functioning pelvic floor can help us to avoid common dysfunctions such as incontinence in pregnancy as well as postpartum.
Mentally, prenatal yoga gives us tools to deal with stresses & worries that may arise during this time in a woman’s life. Taking time for self care from our busy lives can help us slow down and connect with our baby. Coming to a prenatal yoga class can be a great way of meeting other expectant moms. A community of mom friends can be a fantastic support system during pregnancy and possibly even more important after we give birth.
Breath awareness may be one of the most beneficial aspects of a prenatal yoga practice. Regulating the breath helps to activate our body’s relaxation response. This can help improve digestion and sleep, as well as aid in a healthy immune system. While we always include relaxing and restorative poses, practicing breathing techniques during challenging postures can also help prepare us for the birthing process. By doing a yoga posture that may feel more physically challenging, we can practice breathing through intense physical sensations and emotions that may come up during labour and birth. Holding your breath, which a lot of us do unconsciously, can cause tension in the body. Continuing to breath and using other tools we learn in prenatal yoga such as working with sound, visualisations and affirmations can help our bodies and minds to stay relaxed even when things feel challenging and intense.
Since the birth of my own daughter, teaching prenatal yoga has become one of my passions! Please feel free to contact me with any questions or if I can help in any way!