During pregnancy, a woman’s lifestyle changes significantly. Exercising becomes more difficult, with group sports such as basketball or tennis becoming difficult and even potentially dangerous; however, pregnancy doesn’t have to mean forgetting about fitness and exercise. There are yoga classes specifically designed for pregnant woman which can help mothers-to-be stay fit as well as offering a host of other advantages:
Yoga involves stretching the body and its muscles, increasing our flexibility, which can help women assume various postures with ease during labour. The improved flexibility of ligaments can also help reduce labour pains before the childbirth.
Breathing is a fundamental part of yoga and most yoga teachers will have students breathing deeply, using their lungs properly, which can be beneficial when a woman is giving birth to a child.
Yoga helps us improve our posture, which is particularly helpful for pregnant women who are carrying the extra weight of a baby. Improved posture can mean reduced back pain, a common complaint of pregnant women.
Many yoga poses require good balance, from the tree pose to the half-moon pose. Pregnant woman may find that their balance has been impaired by the extra weight they carry, so this focus on improving balance can help prevent pregnant women from tripping or falling due to the weight of the baby.
5. Mental Clarity
As well as being a physical activity, yoga is also a mental exercise. It aims to encourage mindfulness, a focus on the present and peace of mind. Women experiencing anxiety or stress during their pregnancy can benefit from yoga’s focus on the inner self and the emotions. This also helps women stay emotionally stable, avoiding mood swings triggered by hormones.
6. Bonding with the Baby
Many pregnant women who have taken prenatal yoga classes attest that the classes help them to build up a bond with their baby and prepare for its birth.
A yoga class for pregnant women is the perfect place for pregnant women to socialise with other mothers-to-be who will understand what they’re going through. Plus, women on maternity leave might appreciate the extra social contact.
So if you are pregnant and want to stay fit, calm and prepare for the birth of your baby, pregnancy yoga classes are perfect for you. Plus, after the birth of the baby, gentle yoga exercises can help your body recover from the birth.
This article was written by Jackie Bryant who practised pregnancy yoga Dublin before the birth of her child earlier this year and continues to practise yoga today.