Practicing yoga during pregnancy can have amazing benefits. Prenatal yoga focuses on breathing techniques, gentle stretching, and relaxation, using poses that are safe for you and your baby. Yoga can help you relax during pregnancy and prepare you for delivery.
Reduce Stress and Anxiety
While pregnancy is generally considered a happy time, it can also be stressful. There are a lot of fears and anxieties that go along with being a new parent or bringing a new baby into a family. Yoga for pregnant women can teach specialized relaxation techniques that can help reduce stress. The deep breathing and meditation help calm your mind; these techniques can be useful even after delivery when it’s time to take your baby home. Many times when my daughter was a newborn and I found myself worried or anxious, I would practice yoga breathing to help calm myself down.
More Restful Sleep
Despite the fact that everyone is likely telling you to get rest while you still can, it can often be hard to sleep during pregnancy. Worries of labor and new parenthood, as well as various pains and an ever-expanding waistline, can make it very hard to get comfortable for a good night’s rest. Yoga’s relaxation techniques can help ease your worries and stretching can help reduce pain, making falling asleep and staying asleep a little easier.
Decrease Pregnancy Symptoms
As the Mayo Clinic explains, yoga for pregnant women can help mitigate a host of pregnancy symptoms, like back pain, nausea, headaches, and shortness of breath. Yoga can aid digestion, promote circulation, relieve tension in your joints, and increase core strength, all of which can help ease these uncomfortable symptoms. Practicing with other pregnant women in a class specific to prenatal needs insures gentle instruction and a knowledgable instructor.
One of the simplest benefits of prenatal yoga is that it helps you grow more in tune with your own body. During pregnancy, your body is constantly changing, and being mindful of what’s going on inside can help the process seem less scary, and may even help you build a bond with your baby before he or she is born. Yoga helps promote mental clarity so that you can really become more aware of every twinge, stretch, and flutter that your baby and your body are making.
Prepare For Labor
We naturally tend to tense up as a reaction to pain, but during childbirth, the more relaxed you are, the easier the process will be. Learning to control your breathing and relax your muscles during prenatal yoga can help prepare you for labor and childbirth. Yoga can also help strengthen your pelvic muscles and open your hips, both of which can help during childbirth and the recovery process.
While prenatal yoga classes and DVDs are generally tailored to be safe during pregnancy, it’s important to avoid anything that can be harmful, like lying flat on your back for several minutes or practicing in hot temperatures. Like any other physical activity during pregnancy, it’s always important to consult with your doctor before you begin.
Did doing yoga during pregnancy help you? Share your experiences in the comments!
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