9 Benefits Of Doing Prenatal Yoga

Prenatal yoga is becoming increasingly popular as a way to support your body and experience inner calm during pregnancy1. Research suggests it has many benefits for both mother and child. You don't have to have any previous yoga experience in order to practice prenatal yoga, but it's best to practice under the guidance of a qualified teacher. Here are some of the benefits of prenatal yoga.2

1. Develop stamina & strength

Yoga poses help strengthen the back, hips, shoulders and arms. Stronger muscle support helps your body to carry the additional weight of pregnancy with less strain. This will also be helpful after the baby is born and you are carrying your child in your arms. 

2. Improve Balance

As our bellies grow, it can challenge our physical balance. Changing hormones during pregnancy can also affect our emotional balance. Yoga actually helps with both of these things. Focusing on our breathing and holding each pose allows us to tune our balance, both emotionally and physically.

3. Relieve lower back, hip, neck, upper back and shoulder tensions

A growing pregnant belly places increasing stress on a mother's body, typically resulting in an increased lower back curve. Added pressure on our hips causes them to tighten, while growing breasts can affect the upper back, neck and shoulders. Yoga is an excellent way to relieve physical tension and unwind painful knots.

4. Calm the Nervous System

The deep breathing that takes place during prenatal yoga allows the nervous system to relax into its parasympathetic mode. This stress-relieving state helps with digestion, improves sleep and mood, regulates blood pressure, and optimizes the immune system. And when mom is calm, baby is calm.

5. Labor preparation

Focused breath work is an important part of yoga, and having this practice under your belt can be very helpful during labor. Breathwork allows you to be more comfortable with being uncomfortable, helping you to relax into the discomfort and trust your body rather than resist.

6. Connecting with the baby

When you practice prenatal yoga it allows you to slow down and focus your attention on your body, increasing your awareness of what's going on inside you. Many women find that this gives them a greater sense of connection to the growing child within.

7. Helps with circulation

When the muscles are elongated during prenatal yoga, it enhances the circulation to the muscles and the joints. As a result of the increase in circulation, inflammation is decreased and the immune system is increased. This provides a healthy environment for your baby.

8. Community

Many women love the sense of community that comes from practicing prenatal yoga in a group. Practicing alongside other women who understand what you are going through can be quite comforting.

9. Self-Care

Pregnancy is a special time that comes with many joys and challenges. It's important to slow down, take good care of yourself, and be present for this unique period in your life. Yoga practice is a way of caring for your own body and peace of mind and a chance to have some precious "me time" before the baby comes. When we feel deeply cared for, caring for others comes easier. 

Don't forget to also take a Prenatal Multivitamin to make sure your body and your baby are getting all the nutrients they need.

References:

1. http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/prenatal-yoga/, Prenatal Yoga 2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/prenatal-yoga/art-20047193, Prenatal yoga: What you need to know, December 15, 2015