I valued my yoga practice immensely throughout both of my pregnancies. I was lucky to find prenatal yoga teachers before I was trained myself, who guided me through postures and breath-work that allowed me to alleviate some major hip pain and enjoy (most) of both of my unique pregnancy experiences. At Well Yoga, this is what we strive to do for other expectant mamas.
Once you're past the initial, often extreme exhaustion of the first trimester, thoughts around the best exercise for the rest of your pregnancy may be top of mind. Prenatal yoga is one of the most commonly recommended forms of movement by doctors and midwives. Why do you keep hearing that you should do prenatal yoga?
Here are our top 3 benefits to practising yoga during your pregnancy from a mama and prenatal yoga instructor:
1) Yoga promotes relaxation and stress management
Awareness and control of our breath is a powerful tool in reducing anxiety and increasing emotional wellbeing in pregnancy. Long deep exhalations engage our parasympathetic nervous system or our rest and restore network, bringing our heart rate down and increasing our ability to focus and be mindful.
2) Yoga increases strength and flexibility
Prenatal yoga focuses on toning the birth muscles - the transverse abdominis and the muscular walls of the pelvic floor. Women who practise yoga regularly throughout their pregnancy are often in the best possible shape for the challenges of labour. They are also often able to recover quicker once the baby arrives.
3) Alleviates/prevents the common aches and pains of pregnancy
The strength and flexibility focus of prenatal yoga postures can help ease back and neck pain due to increased heaviness of breasts. Since hip and piriformis muscle pain is common with the shifting and opening of pelvic bones, many prenatal yoga postures focus on active rest and release.
Maternal wellbeing is at the forefront of Well Yoga's vision and mission. While every pregnancy experience is different, prenatal yoga enhances your journey through this sacred time, and encourages mamas to engage in self-love and connection with their growing babies.