Prepare for your Babies Arrival with PRENATAL YOGA
Pregnant moms, I’ve got some questions for you:
- Did you have to stop taking your hot yoga classes because you got pregnant?
- You’ve done yoga a couple of times at the gym but were never motivated to keep going?
- You’ve never done yoga before?
- You know you need to exercise during pregnancy, but you don’t know what is safe?
- Would you like to sleep better and feel more rested?
- Do you want to reduce stress?
- Are you feeling anxious about your pregnancy, labor, or birth?
- Do you need more energy?
- Do you have lower back pain?
- Do you feel breathless sometimes?
Well, the solution to all of these pregnancy challenges is Prenatal Yoga. You and your baby will reap so many benefits from practicing prenatal yoga during your pregnancy.
- Breathing exercises (aka Pranayama) help you to expand your breathing capacity. That feeling of being out of breath will decrease or be eliminated altogether. By learning how to direct your attention to your breath you will find that almost immediately your stress levels go down. The deep abdominal breathing practiced during a yoga class helps to stimulate your body’s relaxation response. If you practice 2-3 times a week, it can actually change your perception of the pain you may experience during contractions in labor. Using deep abdominal breathing during labor is the key to being able to relax. You help your own body produce the endorphins which help you relax and reduce the pain you experience. As a result you don’t experience pain in labor as suffering. You stay relaxed and help your body do its job. Even just a few quiet minutes of yogic, deep, abdominal breathing, any time, can reduce stress and cortisol levels in your body.
- Stretching and strengthening all of the muscles in your body expands and increases blood flow to all the muscles groups in your body, including the uterus and the placenta. A Vinyasa (movement that matches each breath) Prenatal Yoga class can also help to strengthen your heart and lungs, lower your resting heart rate, and lower your baby’s heart rate!
- Smarter babies! “University of Montreal found that women who were randomly asked to exercise – and dutifully followed instructions to be physically active – had babies with more active brains eight to 12 days after they were born than moms who took it easy.” http://healthland.time.com/2013/11/11/exercise-during-pregnancy-may-boost-babies-brain-activity/
- Listen to your body. Yoga helps you tune into the messages your body is giving you. Become aware of what makes you tense up, or what causes pain. One of the biggest challenges of practicing yoga is learning not to push past your limits. Another challenge is to learn how to relax while you are also working very hard. It’s easy to let your jaw tense up as you concentrate on a pose, but if you keep your face and jaw relaxed and pay attention to your breathing, its unlikely you will hurt yourself in a yoga class. You can use the same techniques during labor. If your face and jaw and shoulders are relaxed, and your breath is deep and slow, your cervix will open and your pain will decrease.
- Final relaxation is also known by the Sanskrit word, Savasana. At the end of every class you will take time to create awareness of your breath, the physical and emotional sensations you may be feeling. Taking that time helps to increase mindfulness so you are more conscious of and knowledgeable about your body, and your breath, and your connection to your baby. Then you get to lie down on your side and intentionally relax. The purpose of Final Relaxation/Savasana is to sink into a calm, and still posture in order to relax and renew your body and mind.
Here’s how to find a prenatal yoga class:
- Be sure your instructor is certified in yoga for pregnancy.
- Ask your doctor or midwife if they can recommend a prenatal yoga class or prenatal yoga teacher.
- Download prenatal yoga classes and practice at home. There are lots of video classes on YogaDownload.
- Do a Google search using “prenatal yoga classes near me”; yoga for pregnancy (and your zipcode)
- Use a yoga search engine like YogaFinder.com