When I was in my third trimester, I thought I would share the benefits of prenatal yoga and how it helped me cope with all the aches, pains, and emotions that come along with being pregnant.
No one really tells you what it’s like to be pregnant and even if they do, you must experience it to truly understand. It is a journey of both mind and body— just like the yoga path—it is filled with pleasure, suffering, and triumph. When combined, pregnancy yoga deepens your understanding of your changing body while preparing you for the coming responsibility of being a parent.
Doing yoga during pregnancy was an essential component for me, not only because I have practiced yoga in the past, but because I knew it would help me both physically and mentally. This is why I chose to do pregnancy yoga:
Relieve Back, Rib, Chest, and Hip Pain
I’ve tried everything from massage to heat pads to ease physical aches. Although they helped relieve the pain of my expanding tummy temporarily, prenatal yoga was the only technique that removed the pain long-term while strengthening my muscles to reduce future discomfort.
Practice Breathing and Relaxation Techniques
Breathing during labor is the most essential tool for naturally moving through contractions and staying calm. It can easily be the difference between a difficult and pleasurable labor experience. By doing yoga during pregnancy, I prepared myself for the big day by doing controlled breathing exercises while pregnant.
Increase Balance and Strength
As my pregnancy progressed so did my ability to be mobile. A growing belly and the extra weight of a baby shifted my center of gravity and made moving around more strenuous. But when doing prenatal yoga, I was able to use certain prenatal yoga poses to start moving my muscles while increasing my ability to stretch and rediscover balance all over again.
Calm Your Raging Hormones
The increase of estrogen and other hormones led me to extreme aggravation that seemed to come out of nowhere. I realized that doing yoga removed many of these symptoms, and if they did arise, I was able to deal with them easier by deep breathing or a quick meditation session.
Improve Blood Flow
Swelling joints and poor circulation can be common in pregnancy, so exercise of any kind is essential. Pregnancy yoga particularly works on two levels: stretching and movement. Both are low impact yet highly effective for increased circulation and decreased inflammation.
Connect with Your Baby
If you love yoga like me, then you want to incorporate it into your future child’s upbringing. And it is never too early to start showing your child how wonderful yoga feels. A prenatal yoga sequence bonds me with my child as we move together as one. She can also feel my stress level go down as I become meditative. This feeling will transcend the womb as she enters the world.
Prepare for Labor
Prenatal yoga poses open up your hips and pelvis while keeping you limber for labor. This allows you to find and repeat comfortable positions when going through contractions on the day of delivery. It can also help your baby move into the correct position for a smooth transition out of the womb.
Have an Overall Healthier Baby
If I am happy and healthy then so is my baby—therefore, it is not surprising that the most important benefit of prenatal yoga is that it might increase the chances of having a healthy baby. Just like eating a proper diet, exercise that includes reducing stress, relieving physical anguish, supporting emotional changes, and preparing for labor can make a huge difference when it comes to your pregnancy journey.
Getting Started with the Benefits of Prenatal Yoga
If your pregnancy is normal without any complications then you can start yoga anytime. Remember to confirm with your doctor or midwife that starting a new practice is practical. Then start slowly with a few prenatal yoga sequences at home.