Pregnancy yoga classes not only provide a nurturing and supportive environment to guide you safely through pregnancy and birth, they also connect you with a community of pregnant women who you can share that journey with. The benefits expectant mothers and their babies receive from yoga are well documented. Here are just five reasons why women should take up yoga during pregnancy:
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- Breathing is key in yoga and during pregnancy. Many pregnant women experience shortness of breath due to the fact that the body needs more oxygen, but their growing bellies limit diaphragm movement. With emphasis on the breath during a pregnancy yoga class, women can find areas in the body where they can optimize each inhale. The focus of alignment in the spine creates more space for the lungs to expand, and stretches in the side body can be helpful for inviting more air into the sides of the ribcage.
- Grounding yoga postures can help create a deeper mind-body connection. Many expectant moms experience anxiety about not being prepared enough for when the baby arrives. The fear of the unknown leads to stress, and can cause a disruption to the mother’s and baby’s health. Incorporating grounding yoga postures and encouraging women to switch off from their busy minds can be a relief for any self-induced expectations that may not be necessary during this incredible personal journey.
- Hip-opening postures are great preparations to loosen up the hips for labour and birth. In addition to easing the birth process, the hips can cause discomfort during the later stages of pregnancy in day-to-day activities. By incorporating hip stretches into your routine, the hips release both physical and emotional tension, reducing pain associated with tight hips.
- Relief for low back pain from forward folding postures is extremely helpful as well as cat-cow stretches and pelvic rock. As the belly gets bigger, it increases the arch in the lumbar spine, which can cause low back pain. Standing forward folds can be a huge help to relieve back pain. Moreover, when the hamstrings are tight, you can experience tightness in the low back. Stretching out the hamstrings can greatly reduce back pain.
- Preparing for contractions by learning to calm the mind is essential for labour and birth. By holding some postures like arms aligned with the shoulders for 3 minutes, you can practice finding some peace in the challenge. When the mind is overactive it has a direct effect on the body and can create tension and resistance. By learning to breath through discomfort and pain, the mind can calm down to relax the body and allows women to move through contractions with greater ease.