By combining the many benefits of yoga with a special focus on areas put under strain during pregnancy, this type of yoga can help expectant mothers’ mental and physical wellbeing. Using stretches, mindfulness, meditation and breathing exercises, it can help create a more comfortable pregnancy and birth for both mother and baby.
Stress and anxiety are common side effects of pregnancy so pregnancy yoga uses meditation and mindfulness to calm the mind and create a break from stress which can lessen the physical effects of stress and help sleep. Reducing stress hormones and releasing relaxation hormones also benefit both mother and baby.
Breathing exercises are another effective way to tackle stress commonly used in yoga but, in this case, they are also used to prepare the body for labour and make using the breath to help manage the pain and strains of birth come more naturally.
It isn’t news to any pregnant woman that pregnancy puts strains on the body that it has never experienced before and rarely used muscles find themselves under constant pressure while other muscles can become very tight. Pregnancy yoga uses strengthening exercises to gently prepare these muscles to bear this extra work. An example of this is a focus on the pelvic floor muscles which have to work incredibly hard during pregnancy to support the growing baby and may cause issues after birth if they become too stretched and weak.
Similarly, pregnancy yoga works to release very tense muscles which can cause discomfort and make it difficult to rest or sleep comfortably. By gradually stretching tight muscles, the poses encourage these muscles to relax which doesn’t just make them feel a whole lot better, it also helps to prepare some muscles for birth and recovery after birth.
The combination of stretching and strengthening various muscles helps with the changes occurring due to the pregnant mothers’ shift in their centre of gravity to make moving around easier and to improve posture to ease pain.
We recommend commencing pregnancy yoga from week 15 of your pregnancy and would like to reassure you that this gentle form of yoga has been used extensively to help pregnant women feel more comfortable and relaxed during their pregnancy. Please speak to us if you have any questions about this sort of yoga or you can book yourself into a class here.