Pre and Postnatal Yoga
Prenatal yoga can be a great way to prepare for childbirth. Find out if this type of prenatal exercise is right for you. If you're pregnant and looking for ways to relax or stay fit, you might be considering prenatal yoga. But did you know that prenatal yoga might also help you prepare for labor and promote your baby's health?
Before you start prenatal yoga, understand the range of possible benefits, as well as what a typical class entails and important safety tips. Much like other types of childbirth-preparation classes, prenatal yoga is a multifaceted approach to exercise that encourages stretching, mental centering and focused breathing. Research suggests that prenatal yoga is safe and can have many benefits for pregnant women and their babies.
Prenatal yoga can:
Reduce stress and anxiety
Increase the strength, flexibility and endurance of muscles needed for childbirth
Decrease lower back pain, nausea, headaches and shortness of breath
Prenatal yoga can also help you meet and bond with other pregnant women and prepare for the stress of being a new parent.
What to expect from a prenatal yoga class?
A typical prenatal yoga class might involve:
Breathing. You'll be encouraged to focus on breathing in and out slowly and deeply through the nose. Prenatal yoga breathing techniques might help you reduce or manage shortness of breath during pregnancy and work through contractions during labor.
Gentle stretching. You'll be encouraged to gently move different areas of your body, such as your neck and arms, through their full range of motion.
Postures. While standing, sitting or lying on the ground, you'll gently move your body into different positions aimed at developing your strength, flexibility and balance. Props — such as blankets, cushions and belts — might be used to provide support and comfort.
Cool down and relaxation. At the end of each prenatal yoga class, you'll relax your muscles and restore your resting heart rate and breathing rhythm. You might be encouraged to listen to your own breathing, pay close attention to sensations, thoughts and emotions, or repeat a mantra or word to bring about a state of self-awareness and inner calm.
Postnatal Yoga Benefits
There are many benefits to attending a postnatal yoga class, physical, metal and emotional. Here’s just a few of the brilliant benefits:
eases tightness, tension, aches and niggles in the post natal body
helps build up strength and stamina in the body too
provides time to rest and relax
starts to strengthen the deep abdominal muscles to ‘close the body’ after birth. Without any high intensity exercise that can actually hinder the your postnatal recovery.
relieves stiffness in the shoulders, neck and upper back
helps to strengthens pelvic floor muscles
strengthens abdominal and back muscles for core strength
helps to expand your breathing and calms the mind
maintains flexibility in your body
helps you to feel a sense of reclaiming your body
gives you time each week to nurture yourself
renews energy levels
quietening the mind
can aid bonding between mother and baby
creates positivity around your postnatal body
gives you relaxed time to connect with and chat to other new mums
gets you out of the house in a friendly, non judgemental, supportive environment
time to drink tea, eat biscuits and chat!
Postnatal yoga is encouraged for your 6 weeks post delivery, but there is no rush and the most important thing to remember is that you can start whenever it best suits you. Any yoga we promote here at Teesha Yoga is meant to bring you closer to yourself, to accept and love your reality even more, so in doing so, you must move at your own pace and respect your own boundaries, in the name of self-love and self-acceptance! To all the new or soon-to-be moms, we welcome you to the Teesha Yoga family and look forward to having you!