Prenatal Yoga Benefits
1. Connection with baby:
A prenatal yoga practice allows us to slow down and focus attention on what is going on within our bodies. Through working with our breath and doing each pose, you become more aware of what is going on within.
2. Develops strength and stamina:
As baby grows within our body, more energy and strength is needed to be able to carry the weight. Yoga poses strengthen our hips, back, arms and shoulders.
3. Increases blood circulation:
Blood circulation is enhanced within our joints and our muscles are elongated during practice. Upon circulation of the blood within our bodies, swelling is decreased and our immunity is enhanced, creating a healthy environment for a thriving baby.
4. Improves balance:
Our balance is challenged physically as the fetus grows within our body. Emotionally we are drained due to the increases in progesterone and estrogen. As we try to focus on holding and breathing through each yoga pose, we are able to fine tune our balance, physically and emotionally.
5. Relieves tension of lower back, upper back, hips, chest, neck and shoulders:
As baby grows, more stress is put upon these specific muscle groups in our bodies. We tend to have more of a lower back curve due to the increased size of our bellies. Our hips get tighter due to the added pressure of baby's weight in our bellies. As our breasts increase in size, our upper back and chest have more tension, along with our neck and shoulders.
6. Preparation for Labor:
You are working with conscious breathing during each yoga pose, which may sometimes be challenging. This transfers into the time of labor, allowing one to practice being "comfortable with the uncomfortable" through our breathwork. As you inhale, you acknowledge the tension that is felt. As you deeply exhale, you let go of it more and more with each breath.
7. Calms the nervous system:
Through deep breathing, the nervous system goes into parasympathetic mode, which is responsible for relaxation. When our bodies are in that mode, our digestions operate properly, we tend to sleep better, and our immune system is at its optimal.
8. Conscious Breathing:
This is a good tool for labor during contractions. If we are consciously breathing, our blood pressure and heart rate is regulated keeping us in parasympathetic/relaxation mode. Calm mama equals calm baby.
9. Nurturing time:
This time allows us to stop and slow down from our busy days. Through the practice of yoga, you are setting intention in taking care of not only yourself, but of baby.
10. Sense of community/sisterhood:
It can be very comforting to be with a group of women who understand what we are going through.