12 Benefits of Prenatal Yoga For Expecting Moms — YOGA PRACTICE

Finding out that you are pregnant can spark a wonderful time in a woman’s life. Pregnancy may change the routines in your day-to-day life, including what you eat, how long you sleep, and how much you work. Of course, pregnancy can come with challenges like nausea, unhealthy cravings, swollen feet, depression, hormonal shifts, and stress at the thought of what life will be like when the new baby arrives.

All of these experiences are normal, and thankfully, yoga is a fantastic way to navigate pregnancy no matter what stage you are in. Whether you are new to yoga or a long-time practitioner, prenatal yoga has some amazing benefits — including reducing things like morning sickness, preparing your body and mind for delivery, helping you connect with other like-minded mothers and so much more!

A Chance For Mommy & Baby To Relax

Prenatal yoga classes offer a safe space for pregnant women to unwind, move their bodies, de-stress, and feel truly nourished. The yoga teacher will remind you to leave all your worries and cares at the door, and focus on making the class all about you. Yoga has real, scientifically stress-relieving benefits as well. Practicing yoga regularly can strengthen your vagus nerve and helps you switch from fight-or-flight mode to rest-and-digest mode. The more you practice yoga, the stronger your vagus nerve gets. Over time, practicing yoga can actually help you to feel the effects of stress less compared to those who don’t practice yoga.

Socialize with Other Pregnant Women

One issue pregnant women might face is that their group of friends are in a different stage of life or are not having children at the same time. Getting into a prenatal yoga class ensures that you will meet other pregnant women and bond over your shared pregnancy experiences. You will be able to support one another both literally and figuratively through physical asana and by connecting in a nourishing environment. Once your baby is born, you can continue your relationship with the other mothers and who knows, your children might even enjoy being playmates one day!

Reduce The Chance of Preterm Labor

Reduce Morning Sickness & Other Hormonal Symptoms

There are two reasons why yoga helps with morning sickness. The first is synchronizing movement with breath. This type of movement balances your mind and body. Although breath is an automatic function, when you control the breath you can shift your mind state and relax your body, which can lessen the nausea.

The second reason why yoga helps with morning sickness is due to the way it balances your hormones. Nausea is brought on by the rapidly changing hormones in your body during pregnancy. Some of the heavy hormones involves are estrogen, progesterone, and relaxin. While these hormones are important because they help your baby grow and prepare your body for labor, practicing yoga can take your mind off the side effects and help you feel more balanced.

Mood-Boosting & Other Psychological Effects

Because pregnancy involves such a massive life change, it is not unlikely for women and their partners to experience both depression and anxiety. Practicing prenatal yoga as a couple can be a wonderful way to connect with your partner before the baby is born and boost the feel-good chemicals in your brains.

Learn How To Move Your Body Consciously

  1. Laying on your stomach
  2. Deep backbends
  3. Full inversions
  4. Heated yoga like Bikram
  5. Closed twists
  6. Laying flat on your back (during the third trimester)

When you are in a prenatal yoga class, the teacher will show you how to move your body so that it makes more space for the baby, not less. A teacher in a traditional yoga class might not have the skillset to help you navigate your pregnant body. The focused movement taught in a prenatal class will be helpful to incorporate into your home yoga practice and in movement in your daily life. It could be helpful to have your partner attend a class with you as well so they can learn how to offer you assistance in your home yoga practice.

Reduce Back Pain & Improve Posture

Some beneficial prenatal yoga poses that help with back pain during pregnancy are:

  1. Goddess Squat
  2. Side Goddess Squat
  3. Wide Legged Forward Bend
  4. Tabletop Pose
  5. Triangle Pose
  6. Happy Baby Pose

The above yoga poses will give you a sense of space in your lower back and stretch your spine in several different directions. They are all safe to practice during pregnancy without any major modifications, which makes them excellent poses for your home practice where you are less likely to have access to special yoga props.

Open Your Hips To Prepare For Delivery

When approached with an open heart and a loving support system, the process can be incredibly rewarding and life-changing for a woman. Hip opening yoga poses work with the psoas, which is a major muscle group in the hips that is known for storing suppressed emotions. It is not uncommon, pregnant or not, to cry or feel rushes of negative emotions when opening the hips. The good news is that once complete the practice, you usually feel a whole lot better!

Reduce Swelling In Your Feet

Strengthen & Tone Important Muscle Groups

Some poses that lengthen and tone the pelvic floor are:

  1. Lunges
  2. Reclined Butterfly Pose (with lots of props)
  3. Warrior II
  4. Triangle Pose
  5. Half Moon Pose (with a block)

Prenatal Yoga Is A Wonderful Way to Unite Mommy & Baby

Sign Up to Our Newsletter

Originally published at https://yogapractice.com on September 11, 2018.