Practicing yoga has been known to be a great stress reliever. Yoga has been shown to lower stress levels, fight depression and reduce inflammation, among other health benefits. According to The Huffington Post, for expecting mothers a prenatal yoga practice is not only an excellent way to relieve stress, but also contributes to a healthier pregnancy.
1. Yoga Keeps Stress Levels In Check.
Yoga can help mothers-to-be unwind during pregnancy. This is your chance to focus on your own breathe, keeping your body and baby in mind. Virayoga founder and Art of Attention author Elena Brower says that the focus on breathing, in particular, can help moms-to-be decompress. “When we practice when we’re pregnant, it makes a space in our bodies that we need ... for the baby and for ourselves,” says Brower. “Breathing helps us create that opening inside of ourselves. Breathing helps us to see that we don’t have to react so quickly… Having that kind of space helps us be patient and helps us realize there’s time for everything.”
2. It Can Keep Mom & Baby Healthy.
According to the Mayo Clinic, research has found that prenatal yoga has many benefits, including a decreased risk of prenatal depression, improved sleep, and decreased back pain and nausea. A 2012 study also found that prenatal yoga may help prevent complications during pregnancy. The study showed that pregnant women who practiced yoga for one hour, three times per week, were less likely to have low birthweight babies, pregnancy-related diabetes and high blood pressure.
3. It Can Help Expecting Mothers Prepare For Labor.
The Yoga Journal reports that yoga can help mothers-to-be prepare for labor. Prenatal yoga allows you to practice deep breathing, built strength, and stamina. “Labor is one of the most physical things you’ll ever do,” prenatal instructor Angela Gallagher tells Yoga Journal. “You would not run a marathon without preparation: Why would you go into labor without preparing for it?”
4. It Can Keep You In Shape.
According to The Huffington Post, the gentle exercises tailored specifically to the needs of pregnant women can be a good alternative to more high-intensity workouts that may not be advised for expecting mothers. Keeping a consistent workout schedule before, during, and after pregnancy makes it easier to achieve pre-baby weight.
5. It Can Help You Tune Into Your Body’s Needs.
Carving out time for self-care is important, especially during pregnancy when your hormones are constantly changing. Through prenatal yoga, mothers-to-be can stay in tune with what their bodies need and what their babies need. Prenatal yoga classes are a great way to focus on your body and figuring out where points of stress are for you and baby.
Community Well has a weekly prenatal yoga class every Thursday with Renee Wilson, founder of Mama Yoga Channel. Renee tailors the specific needs of pregnant women in her Mama Prenatal Yoga classes. She has a holistic approach in her yoga practice and helps prepare you for birth and beyond. The class is also an excellent way to meet other mothers-to-be and be in community with other pregnant women.