Whether you are aware of it or not, yoga can provide some truly phenomenal benefits for pregnant women. Yoga can help to lower stress in expectant mothers, to help women stay strong and fit throughout the pregnancy and can even help to prepare for labor and delivery. Prenatal yoga has even been shown to help prevent complications during pregnancy, providing benefits to both mother and baby. A regular yoga practice while pregnant promotes better sleep, more energy and helps to reduce the aches and pains of pregnancy like back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, headaches, nausea and fatigue.
With all these benefits, I believe it is one of the best forms of exercise to stretch and strengthen the body as well as to foster a mind-body connection throughout the journey of pregnancy and beyond into labor, delivery and motherhood.
But there are also some unexpected benefits that I have experienced both as a practitioner while pregnant and as a prenatal teacher, that are so important for expectant moms:
- Community. Pregnancy can be an exciting time, but it can often be an extremely difficult time too. Pregnant women can feel isolated, anxious, sick and lonely. Past traumas or stresses can re-surface and it can be a truly overwhelming journey. A prenatal yoga class should offer a welcoming environment for women to connect, share and bond. Often times I think my students most enjoy the time they have with each other in class, sharing stories or worries, commiserating and laughing. Finding community can be an unexpected and crucial benefit to prenatal yoga.
2. Self Love. With the ever changing (monthly, daily, even minute by minute!) prenatal body can come a great deal of stress and expectation. Society expects pregnant women to be glowing, happy, blooming. In reality, each day while pregnant is different and the emotions and experiences that accompany the changing body might be stressful and overwhelming. Prenatal yoga teaches women to slow down. To honor their body and mind in whatever place and state it may be that day and to try to find gratitude and acceptance when we can.
3. Self care as a habit. It's often hard, no matter what part of the motherhood journey you are on, to find time for yourself. Prenatal yoga is a wonderful way to start the habit of self-care as you travel down the bumpy road to mama-hood. Although there may be days when you don't make it to class (remember, life happens, don't beat yourself up) your yoga practice will be there for you when you need it and you can pick back up at any time. Taking prenatal yoga classes are a great way to start to foster the healthy habit of making time for yourself. Many of the moms from my prenatal classes come back through my studio doors as new mamas and though it's not always easy, they return to their practice either with their baby or solo, carving out some precious moments of relaxation and renewal.
This summer, Green Bird Yoga offers lots of options for prenatal women to experience all the benefits that yoga and fitness provide. Visit our class schedule page to learn more and remember that your first adult class is FREE! If you have been wanting to try yoga but have questions or worries, send us an email. We are happy to help!