Becoming a new mom is a challenge all on its own. There is so much prepping for the baby’s arrival from preparing the nursery, to finding the best formula, to shopping for car seats and all the while women seem to forget about their own bodies along the way. We stress ourselves out with all the preparation when sometimes we just need to focus on our bodies and be along for the beautiful ride to motherhood. Doing yoga during your pregnancy has numerous benefits not only for your body but your mind as well. Taking a moment to practice yoga can help bring together your mind, body and spirit; allowing you to safely get to know your changing body. Try creating a little sanctuary on your mat for yourself as you meditate and focus on nothing but your breathing. Being mindful of your breathing will be beneficial once it’s time to deliver the baby. Since your body changes so much throughout the 9 months of pregnancy, many women will feel “growing pains'' as your body widens and stretches to make room for new life. Practicing yoga can assist you in creating a strong pelvic floor; strengthening and lengthiness your pelvic floor and hips will help reduce a lot of the growing pains and provide a smoother birthing experience. Many women also experience mood swings that seemingly take over their lives. Although you can’t change your hormones, you can change how you respond to them. Changing your mindset from “this is something that’s happening to me, this hurts, I can’t wait to get over it” to “this is something I get to experience, this is joy, this is welcoming new life…” Remember at this time to not judge yourself too harshly. You’re stronger than you know and telling yourself that can help you adapt to all the bodily changes with grace. Not only does yoga benefit you during pregnancy, it can also help you rid of all the baby weight sooner. Gaining any form of weight during your pregnancy is normal and you shouldn’t shame yourself on a few pounds as you create actual life but by practicing yoga on a consistent and healthy routine, you’ll be able to “snap back” into your pre-pregnancy body in no time. Most importantly, yoga can benefit your mental health as you move through your journey to motherhood. We all feel anxiety in life from time to time and something as life changing as giving birth can definitely have an affect on our anxiety and other mental health problems. While yoga can’t replace the work professional help, it can help assist you in breaking some of those negative habits and thought patterns that stem from anxiety and depressive episodes. Try this #TeeshaTip: When you’re feeling frazzled, sit quietly with your spine straight and sing the Bija Mantra (seed sound), “SOM” in order to soothe the nervous system. Even though everything you do in your life will be centered around your baby moving forward, it’s important to never forget that your mental health has to come first at some point. You can’t be the best mom you can be without feeling like you’re the best.