5 Benefits to Prenatal Yoga Practice
Hey Mommy-to-Be! How are you feeling in that body with that baby growing in there? Today we want to talk about how prenatal yoga can enhance every aspect of your pregnancy.
No matter how great or crappy or anywhere in between you might feel, yoga can make it even better. If that’s not enough to entice you to book a class near you pronto, here are five benefits which might convince you.
Meet Other Nice Mommies-to-Be – #1
Being a new mommy can be lonely sometimes. We are designed as social creatures and as humans we thrive in each other’s loving presence. Community is essential for long-term happiness. Yet in today’s fragmented society, making new positive social connections can prove difficult depending on your personality and/or life circumstances.
What is great about meeting new moms-to-be during class is the very nature of the activity brings out the best in women. Yoga is Union with the highest values and motivations of the self. Right there, you know anyone showing up for class is devoted to experiencing inner peace. Women who are in touch with the peace within can make for wonderful sisters and friends.
We think the opportunity to interface with other women who can not only relate to you, but who prioritize inner peace in their lives, cannot be understated.
Relief for Pregnancy Pain and Discomfort – #2
Creating life in your body is a beautiful miracle… but let’s face it, not always all unicorns and rainbows day-to-day. Growing pains are a real thing. Your skeleton, muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves not to mention emotions must morph to make space for your little bambino at an astonishing rate. You are in a constant state of adaptation, from the way you sleep to the way you drive.
If you work at a desk all day long, or spend hours on the phone or any other activities that require repetitive actions in an isolated area of the body, chronic pain might be something you are used to. Why suffer so much? No need to suffer when yoga can help you become aware and present in your body to a point of releasing pain and stuck energy.
As Jane Austin, founder of Mama Tree pre- and postnatal yoga school in San Francisco says, practicing yoga while pregnant is “intended to bolster the progressions that happen in a pregnant body”. Yoga for expecting moms gives a sound, safe approach to stretch muscles and reinforce the body’s best structural alignment. positive effects can be felt physically, emotionally and mentally.
When you breathe intentionally while gently stretching the muscles during yoga asanas (Sanskrit for “postures”) blood flows all throughout the body, distributing life-giving oxygen to your tissues and muscles, as well as to baby! That process of respiration also allows gentle releases to happen all over the body.
Optimize Health During Pregnancy – #3
Maybe you are wondering if you should you do cardio or yoga for exercise during your pregnancy. Maybe you need to pick one or the other if time is a precious commodity in your world. Which exercise will give you more “bang for your buck” so to speak? Our guess is you would choose the practice with a more favorable impact on your and your baby’s health.
A study of women who practiced yoga regularly during pregnancy were less likely to have premature labor or to deliver a baby with low-birthweight.
The study, conducted in India and published in 2005 in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, observed 335 women, split into 2 groups. One group practiced an hour of yoga each day, while the other group walked 30 minutes 2x per day. You probably already guessed it: the women who practiced yoga had babies with better birth weights and were more likely to carry their babies to full term!
Better Labor & Delivery Prep – #4
“Labor and delivery” are two little words cannot be sugar-coated, as I am sure you have heard. Labor and delivery can be quite uncomfortable regardless of whether you go the chemical or natural route. Pain and/or discomfort has the potential to undermine a woman’s efforts to stay in the present moment while giving birth.
For some reason, when you’ve practiced yoga regularly during your pregnancy, accessing that “mammalian place” as Austin describes it, is more intuitive. Tapping into your inner peace allows your body to take over and do what it knows how to do from ancient times until now: bring life into this world.
Reduces Depression – #5
Supposedly, one in five women experiences major pre- or postnatal depression. Sobering statistic. Please take note and be vigilant in your self-monitoring. You do not want to slip down that crack. The good news is you are not helpless when seeking to reduce or eliminate depression from your life.
A 2012 University of Michigan study found evidence that practicing yoga asanas along with mindfulness has a quantifiable impact on reducing depressive symptoms. It was also found to increase mother-baby bonding. What could be better than enhancing mother and baby wellbeing? Not a lot.
There you have it, five great reasons to practice yoga during your pregnancy.
Just Do It
- Search Google for “prenatal yoga classes near me” a book it! Cost of live classes ranges from $10 – $25/class depending on your geographic region.
- Buy Jeannine Parvati’s book “Pre natal Yoga and Natural Childbirth”. She’s the original Western yoga teacher for pregnant women. She was such a beautiful light in this world. She gave birth to 10+ children at home and maintained a gorgeous figure throughout her life. Very inspiring! Link to book on Amazon.com
- Subscribe to a streaming yoga channel and practice at home. Check out gaia.com or yogadownload.com for classes you can stream from Android, Roku, Amazon Video, Apple TV or Chromecast.
We hope you enjoyed today’s blog post!