Author & Picture: Lexi Crouch
In current times, it is hard to miss the memo about the wonderful benefits yoga provides for the – physically, mentally and emotionally. Numerous studies have found that yoga is beneficial for treating a number of conditions - diabetes, injuries, stress and of course pregnancy (and post-partum) is no exception.
Prenatal yoga affects the birthing experience in a positive and enhancing way. Looking specifically at a pregnant woman’s body, prenatal yoga is designed to address the most common areas associated with the birthing process.
- The pelvic floor muscle: Including exercises to strengthen and importantly learn how to release, a strong pelvic floor enables a woman to carry a baby more comfortably and these exercises can be continued post-partum to aid in recovery.
- Posture: As the woman’s body continues to grow and change, the centre of gravity does as well. Poses like Cat/Cow allows the core to work slightly to keep the belly strong. As the belly grows, strain tends to be placed on the lower back, and gentle yoga can really help with this!
- Hips: Pregnant woman release a hormone called relaxin that softens the pelvic area and soften joints. Prenatal Yoga will start to bring flexibility into this area to allow for an easier delivery.
However prenatal yoga doesn’t just work on the body, it helps mums-to-be with meditation and breathing exercises important for labour and delivery. By working on the mind as well as the body yoga helps mums-to-be remain in a calmer and more focused state (and perhaps even helps them to not lock the front door while leaving their keys inside - the joys of baby brain!). Prenatal yoga keeps mums-to-be happy, healthy and calm – exactly how you should feel throughout your pregnancy!
Not only does the mother receive benefits from prenatal yoga, but baby does as well! Practicing allows improved sleep, increased strength and endurance needed for the birth. Starting yoga from the second trimester and continuing regularly throughout pregnancy means that by the time birth takes place the entire birthing process should be easier, calmer and Prenatal Yoga will have prepared the woman’s body, mind, breath and beyond.
Stretch Yoga has frequent Prenatal Yoga Courses run by some of Brisbane’s most experienced teachers. For more information check out our Prenatal Yoga Course Page.