Aimed at increasing comfort during pregnancy and easing childbirth, Prenatal Yoga is a very gentle and safe form of yoga, suitable at any stage during pregnancy. The practice aims to develop strength and flexibility and reduce stress.
Not all postures and forms of yoga are safe or recommended during pregnancy, for example, Hot Yoga. For this reason, many women prefer to attend Prenatal Yoga classes, which have been specifically designed with the expectant mother in mind.
Classes can be a great form of support, where pregnant women meet, share experiences, and develop new connections. It’s also an opportunity for mother and growing baby to bond, away from the everyday stresses of the outside world.
It is also very common that Prenatal Yoga teachers also teach post-natal classes. These classes can help to continue to support women physically and emotionally after childbirth.
Research indicates that Prenatal Yoga is safe during any stage of pregnancy and may offer many benefits for mother and baby alike.
What to expect when practicing Prenatal Yoga
A class will typically be slow-paced and Hatha based. Gentle stretches and movements target tight hips, and aching tired muscles, especially in the lower back, shoulders, and legs.
There will be a focus on pelvic floor exercises which are used to help strengthen and physically prepare the body for childbirth.
Certain postures will require props such as blankets and cushions, for support and comfort. This element gives the class a Restorative Yoga feel. Meditation and focused breathwork are taught to help manage pain and contractions during labor. Most classes will conclude with a gentle cool down and period of relaxation.
How difficult is Prenatal Yoga?
Prenatal Yoga is easy and can be safely attended at any stage during pregnancy.
If you are new to yoga or experiencing a difficult pregnancy, listen to your body and take it slowly. It is important not to push yourself too far or try to stretch further than you would have before pregnancy. Stay hydrated, and if you are unsure of anything ask your teacher for help and guidance.
What is Prenatal Yoga good for?
Prenatal Yoga can improve sleep, ease pain and discomfort during pregnancy, and prepare the body for birth. Deep breathing exercises are also useful before and during labor to encourage relaxation, reduce stress, and manage painful contractions.