You may have heard that prenatal yoga can help with a number of pregnancy-related issues and can even prepare you for childbirth. With many mums across the UK claiming to have hugely benefitted from this gentle yet effective workout, pregnancy yoga is definitely worth considering for the active mum to be.
Firstly, not all standard yoga poses and postures can be done with a bump, so a dedicated prenatal yoga class is paramount. At prenatal yoga, the postures and stretches will be tailored towards boosting your inner and outer strength during pregnancy, so see what’s on offer in your area.
Secondly, always check with your midwife or GP before you begin, especially if you have any concerns.
Ready to go? Here are six amazing benefits of practicing prenatal yoga…
- It will increase strength and stability
Growing a baby inside you for nine months is hard work! Pregnancy can cause your center of gravity to shift, and cause back pain amongst other complaints. Posture is a big factor here, and your burgeoning bump will cause your posture to shift, as it compensates for the extra weight and the changing center of gravity. Pregnancy yoga helps with your alignment, and the postures will also help with your strength and stability.
2. It can help with your breathing – which is great for childbirth
Some prenatal yoga classes use hypnobirthing techniques to encourage deep breathing, which can promote a calm and relaxed birthing experience. Your instructor will help you to develop an awareness of your breathing, encouraging you to take deep, relaxing breaths that fill your body with enriching oxygen. Some of these techniques can be used to good effect in childbirth, and many yoga experts believe that gentle deep breathing techniques can calm you and help to keep you focused in labour.
3. It will provide periods of mental calm
Pregnancy can be a whirlwind of emotion, and changing hormones coupled with the stress of planning for a baby and this whole new chapter of your life can be challenging. A weekly or even daily prenatal yoga class or session can help to calm your thoughts and provide a safe space for you to relax and unwind, even if it’s just for just half an hour. This mindful way of unloading your mental stresses and quietening your mind can have a beneficial impact on your pregnancy and your overall wellbeing.
4. You can practice it at home…
Once you have the hang of the postures and breathing techniques, and are confident to give it a whirl on your own, grab your yoga mat and practice at home. As prenatal yoga poses and postures are modified to suit the different stages of pregnancy, check in with your instructor as you go along to make sure you’re on the right track, keep it gentle and take a break if you need to.
5. It can help with your pelvic floor
Many of the postures and poses taught in pregnancy yoga can help to connect with and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, which come under a lot of strain during pregnancy. Our recent blog post explored the reasons why focusing on your pelvic floor can help you postnatally, so getting into good habits before you have your baby can only be a good thing.
6. You might make some mummy friends!
Making friends with mums with babies of a similar age and stage can make your maternity leave a joyous and connected experience, and prenatal yoga could be a great place to meet likeminded mums to be. Maybe suggest a post yoga latte, and make friends over a brew and a chat!
Did you take a pregnancy yoga class? Tell us about your experience!