Practicing yoga when pregnant can be a wonderful choice of physical exercise. Yoga helps improve strength and flexibility required for childbirth, it’s infinitely relaxing for both the mother and the growing baby, and can help prepare for the birthing process with a focus on breathing techniques. A pregnancy yoga class is also a great way to meet new mums-to-be, bonding with other women who are experiencing the same things you are!
Why choose pregnancy yoga?
Some mothers-to-be are wary of physical exercise during pregnancy, especially for those who have perhaps been feeling unwell or excessively tired. The very thought of more physical exertion can make their palms sweat!
This is one of the key benefits that pregnancy yoga has over other physical activities; it’s gentle, you can work with your own body’s rhythm to find the right pace for you and, if you join a class, it’s performed with a professional yoga instructor who understands the physical limitations of a pregnant woman.
10 benefits of pregnancy yoga
Before joining a pregnancy yoga class, it is important to learn more about prenatal yoga and what to expect. As your body is already going through significant physical changes, it helps to be prepared.
Here are some of the benefits of prenatal yoga:
(1) Calms the nervous system
Pregnancy yoga involves practicing deep breathing, which in turn activates the parasympathetic nervous system. By doing this, the body relaxes aiding with better sleep, improved digestion and an optimal immune system.
Joining a prenatal yoga class can particularly help if you are anxious or struggle sleeping.
(2) Gives you time out
Many mums-to-be these days don’t have the luxury of staying at home just waiting for their baby to arrive. Work continues, there is the rest of the family to still cater for, so life very much goes-on. A pregnancy yoga class allows structured time in your week to be able to wind down and focus solely on you and your unborn baby.
This can be an excellent practice and habit to secure for when the baby is born too.
(3) Develops strength and stamina
Any pregnant woman will know that additional strength is required during pregnancy. The more the baby grows, the more strength is required to carry the weight and the more stamina is required to get you through the day.
Pregnancy yoga focuses on gentle yoga poses to strengthen the muscles needed for pregnancy and childbirth.
(4) Improved balance
Yoga is known for improving balance, and when pregnant, balance can be a challenge.
Prenatal yoga poses, such as The Tree Pose, can help to align and focus physical balance and the entire practice of yoga is excellent to re-balance emotionally.
(5) Connects mother and baby
The practice of prenatal yoga is a great way to connect mother and baby. The yoga breathing and poses help to focus on the feelings and emotions and become aware of what is really happening inside.
Post-natal yoga is also a wonderful experience for mother and baby to bond and connect.
(6) Increases circulation
Healthy circulation is important for a growing baby and during prenatal yoga practice, circulation increases, which decreases swelling and helps improve immunity too.
(7) Relieves pain and increases flexibility
Pregnancy can cause all sorts of aches and pains as well as tension, particularly around the lower and upper back, hips, chest and shoulders.
During pregnancy, the lower back tends to curve more due to the increased size of the belly, the hips tighten due to added weight of the baby and an increased breast size can put more pressure on the chest, neck and shoulders.
Prenatal yoga can help relieve these pains and increase flexibility for specific muscle groups.
(8) Prepares the mother for childbirth
Childbirth requires conscious, steady breathing, which is key to good yoga practice.
Practicing pregnancy yoga can prepare a mother for the labour process and the challenges that can come during childbirth.
(9) Focus on breathing
This focus on breathing not only comes in handy during labour but also prenatal and indeed postnatal. Regulating the heart rate and controlling blood pressure can help activate the parasympathetic nervous system and keep you and your baby calm.
(10) Sense of sisterhood
Pregnancy yoga classes can give women a sense of sisterhood, helping them to bond with other mums-to-be.
Simply by connecting to other pregnant women can empower you during your pregnancy and create lasting friendships.
Pregnancy yoga London
To learn more about the benefits of pregnancy yoga, why not visit a yoga studio near by and speak with a qualified pregnancy yoga teacher. They can answer your questions and tell you more about the classes on offer.