Prenatal yoga does a body good

Hey everyone it’s Shanon G. I wanted to share with all of you pregnant women out there the benefits of prenatal yoga! Recently I found out that the girl who lives next door to me is pregnant like myself. Naturally we have bonded over pregnancy and she invited me to a six week prenatal yoga class with her and another girl who is pregnant that lives down the street from us (it must be something in the water!) I have always loved doing regular yoga classes or going to hot yoga classes with my girlfriend Marzia before I became pregnant, so this sounded perfect for me. I did however do a little research just to check out the benefits of prenatal yoga and there are a bunch! Check it out!
Much like other types of childbirth-preparation classes, prenatal yoga is a multifaceted approach to exercise that encourages stretching, mental centering and focused breathing. Research suggests that prenatal yoga is safe and can have many benefits for pregnant women and their babies. For example, studies have suggested that prenatal yoga can:
Improve sleep
Reduce stress and anxiety
Increase the strength, flexibility and endurance of muscles needed for childbirth
Decrease lower back pain, nausea, carpal tunnel syndrome, headaches and shortness of breath
Decrease the risk of preterm labor, pregnancy-induced hypertension and intrauterine growth restriction — a condition that slows a baby’s growth
Prenatal yoga can also help you meet and bond with other pregnant women and prepare for the stress of being a new parent
A typical prenatal yoga class will go like this:
First you will start with breathing-You’ll be encouraged to focus on breathing in and out slowly and deeply through the nose. You may also practice different breathing techniques and making deep sounds, such as humming or grunting. Prenatal yoga breathing techniques may help you reduce or manage shortness of breath during pregnancy and work through contractions during labor.
Then you move to gentle stretching-You’ll be encouraged to gently move different areas of your body, such as your neck and arms, through their full range of motion
Next you go in to postures-While standing, sitting or lying on the ground, you’ll gently move your body into different positions aimed at developing your strength, flexibility and balance. Props — such as blankets, cushions and belts — may be used to provide support and comfort. You’ll also continue to focus on your breathing
Cool down-At the end of each prenatal yoga class, you’ll relax your muscles and restore your resting heart rate and breathing rhythm. You’ll be encouraged to sit down and gently stretch different parts of your body.
Last is relaxation-You may be encouraged to listen to your own breathing, pay close attention to sensations, thoughts and emotions, or repeat a mantra or word to bring about a state of self-awareness and inner calm.

I also wanted to share some of my own tips for going to a yoga class
-wear comfy, form fitting, stretchy fabric, there is nothing worse than being uncomfortable when trying to get into poses and moving around!
-if you have long hair wear it securely out of your face, you will be moving all around and don’t want to have to stop to adjust your hair constantly (I wear my own hair in a bun!)
-do NOT worry about what other people in the class are doing! There are going to be beginners all the way to advanced in most yoga classes, so just try to enjoy the experience and focus on yourself
-get out there and do it! You will never say “gosh I wish I hadn’t gone to that yoga class”, but you could very well say “Gosh I wish I had gone to that yoga class!”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: