Yoga has many benefits for mom and baby. It’s a body-mind practice that promotes wellness in the 5 Koshas (layers of being): Body, Vital (Physiology), Mind, Character, and Heart.
The Mayo Clinic has looked at research studies on yoga for pregnancy. They list some of the benefits of yoga for pregnancy as:
- Better sleep
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- An increase in the strength, flexibility and endurance of muscles needed for childbirth
- Less shortness of breath and nausea
- Less back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome and headaches (all common during pregnancy)
- Decreased risk of preterm labor and pregnancy-induced high blood pressure.
Wow, that’s a long list of really positive benefits!
Should you start yoga for the first time during pregnancy? It depends! Look for classes that are adapted for pregnancy and open to beginners. Talk to the teacher in advance. Another option is to participate in a class that is open to beginners where the teacher is comfortable adapting for you.
Prenatal yoga classes are specially designed to avoid contraindicated positions, temper how physically hard you work, keep the room temperature in a safe zone, help you get what you need to be as comfortable as possible through your pregnancy, and get ready for the delivery.
Prenatal classes are often a celebration of the journey of birth. You’ll typically find the support a circle of women who share the experience, an hour of “Me” time, and an inoculation of stress relief.
If you participate in yoga during pregnancy, it’s really important to let your Yoga Teacher or Yoga Therapist know if anything has changed for you from class to class. Any change in blood pressure, breath capacity, pain, swelling, or spotting/bleeding is important to report so that modifications can be made to keep you and your baby safe.
If you’re pregnant and interested in using yoga to feel good and get ready to deliver your baby, learn more about the class options or individualized practice options that are available in your community.