There is no question that a healthy mind and body are they key to a healthy and happy pregnancy. High impact workouts are not really recommended for expectant moms so yoga is a great alternative. Prenatal yoga focuses on specific poses for pregnant women that aim to increase strength and flexibility. It’s also an excellent way to keep your nerves at bay to physically, emotionally and mentally prepare for a positive pregnancy & childbirth experience. Below are some of the amazing benefits of prenatal yoga.
1. Increases strength, stamina and balance:
Pregnant or not, yoga can help to increase your strength and balance all over. Prenatal yoga will give you the strength you need in your lower body to carry the added pregnancy weight from your growing baby. You’ll also gain an increased strength in your upper body to handle the weight you’ll be carrying around for a year or so after giving birth.
2. Prenatal yoga helps relieve aches and pains:
Pregnancy can literally be a pain in the butt!..lol. Back pain is the most common pregnancy complaint that often worsens as the weight of the uterus and baby increases. Prenatal yoga helps to strengthen the muscles that support this new weight while taking pressure off the lower back and sacrum muscle. Another common pregnancy complaint is sciatic nerve pain. Sciatic nerve pain radiates down the legs & sometimes right into the tips of your toes. Many women experience significant relief from this intense pain through prenatal yoga. I’ve dealt with sciatic nerve pain in and off for years but big time in my 1st and 2nd trimesters. My favorite poses are the pigeon pose and half-moon pose. Both poses can stretch the lower back muscles to relieve pain while inversions can help make space in the pelvis to lessen painful muscle irritation.
3. Prenatal yoga teaches you to breathe:
Breathing exercises can be incredibly helpful during both pregnancy and labor for calming and centering purposes. They also help to maximize oxygen flow when you need it (i.e. labor pains!). The ability to control your breath is an absolute necessity for pain management during labor and childbirth. Those of you seeking an all natural route for labor and delivery should definitely seek out prenatal yoga.
4. Prenatal yoga helps you open your hips for childbirth:
As your pregnancy progresses, your prenatal yoga practice should be tailored to focus more directly on childbirth preparation. Hip opening poses such as squats and bound angle can help your baby get into position and help with pushing. Seek out prenatal yoga instructors that have experience in working with women at the end of the last trimester. They will be able to assist a great deal by giving you to the tools to cope with labor pain and ease into childbirth.
5. Connect with other moms, boost confidence & decrease anxiety.
Prenatal yoga will help you to meet and connect with other moms (veteran yogis and beginners) who will give you tips and guidance on yoga but also what’s to come in your motherhood journey. Some may even have the same anxieties you’re feeling which will put you at ease! You’ll gain an increased confidence and a decreased feeling of anxiety to help you through it all! You will also have an easier time snapping back into your pre-pregnancy shape afterwards. More importantly, prenatal yoga can give you a heightened ability to connect with your pregnancy and bond with your baby by focusing on being in the moment.
I am so glad I decided to take up prenatal yoga this pregnancy! Have you ever tried yoga or prenatal as part of your workout/healthy living regimen? Check out some more tips on the benefits of yoga here!
Thanks for reading!
-Healthy Hair To Toe <3