With experts recommending at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day for pregnant women, prenatal yoga is an excellent way for expecting mothers to unwind and stay physically fit all at the same time. If you’re not familiar with prenatal yoga, here is a quick run-through of how it can help improve your quality of life and even promote your baby’s health while in the womb.
The Benefits of Prenatal Yoga
Most childbirth preparation classes take a multifaceted approach to helping mothers stay active and healthy as they prepare to give birth, and prenatal yoga is no different. A prenatal yoga class works to encourage:
- mental clarity
- physical stretching, and
- focused, controlled breathing,
All of which can lead to a number of benefits—including better, deeper sleep. In turn, that can lead to more physical energy during the day.
Research supports the safety of prenatal yoga along with its many benefits for both expectant mothers and their children. Aside from improving your quality of sleep, prenatal yoga has the capacity to reduce your stress and anxiety, both of which are linked to poor sleep, poor nutrition, and low morale. Meanwhile, prenatal yoga can increase your strength while helping you improve flexibility and even improve your muscle endurance, all of which is very beneficial for you’re impending childbirth.
Prenatal yoga can even help you conquer some of the symptoms of pregnancy, such as lower back pain. It can also help in relieving headaches, nausea, and help you avoid shortness of breath by giving you powerful breathing techniques and exercises that you can utilize both in and out of the classroom. Finally, prenatal yoga gives you the opportunity to bond with other expectant mothers through shared experiences as you progress through your pregnancy journey.
What Does Prenatal Yoga Entail?
If you have never attended a prenatal yoga class before, let all of your worries fade away! There is nothing strenuous about any prenatal session and every class centers on gentle stretching, deep breathing, and a number of postures that mix sitting, standing, and prone positions to develop your balance, flexibility, and strength. Props, including cushions and blankets, are also often used to provide added support and keep you comfortable.
Every prenatal yoga class also includes a proper cool down and relaxation session where you’ll get to relax and restore your body to its resting heart rate and breathing patterns. This is often when attendees are able to focus on their sense of inner calm and work on clearing their mind, which is another big part of prenatal yoga’s focus.
Would you like to see for yourself what prenatal yoga can do for you? Angela Del Franco – Certified Optimize Coach and Yoga professional, currently teaches Prenatal Yoga at The WOMB (World Of My Baby) in Burlington every Thursday at 7pm. Visit thewomb.ca to learn more.