For quite a while now, I’ve wanted to explore and explain the basic benefits of prenatal yoga. What’s the big deal about practicing yoga during pregnancy? Why is it good for you? How can you and your baby benefit from making prenatal yoga a beautiful, integral part of your motherhood experience?
If you only take away one thing from this post, let it be this: I couldn’t think of a reason for you to not practice prenatal yoga during pregnancy. When you embrace (not abandon!) your yoga practice on your journey to motherhood, your mind, body, and spirit will benefit in so many ways. Perhaps most importantly, your baby will, too!
Why practice prenatal yoga?
First and foremost, pregnant women are capable of more than we've given them credit for in the past. The strength building, cardio vascular work, and stress relief elements of yoga are just as (or maybe even more) important during your pregnancy than they are otherwise.
Takeaway: During pregnancy, you don’t need to shy away from your yoga practice. Instead, think of shifting your yoga practice to meet the unique needs of your body during pregnancy.
Yoga helps build muscle where you need it the most to support you during, and even after, your pregnancy. Think lifting, carrying, bending, reaching, pushing, and squatting! In prenatal yoga practice, we focus on relieving tightness and tension in the back, shoulders and chest, stretching and lengthening the hamstrings, and building muscle in the glutes and core. Core work while you are pregnant is going to be different than what you are used to, but it’s still important for back pain relief and can help with a fast labor. Our core and pelvic floor are intricately connected, so working them both during each practice helps build a harmonious relationship between the two.
Takeaway: Prenatal yoga can help you build muscles that will support you throughout your pregnancy, and alleviate the tension caused by bringing your baby earthside.
Building muscular and mental strength in your yoga practice symbolizes the strength and power of motherhood. As a mama, you are a spiritual force of nature, and the strength of your body and mind should support that.
Takeaway: Strength building of the mind and body in yoga also helps root you in the spiritual power of motherhood.
Pregnancy can come with its own “special” set of stressors, and for many mamas, it can feel like a wild emotional roller coaster. Doing yoga every day of your pregnancy will help keep anxiety at bay, support your connection to your breath, and reduce some of the swelling and discomfort of pregnancy.
Takeaway: No matter the amount of time you dedicate to your prenatal practice, doing a little bit of prenatal yoga every day during pregnancy goes a long way toward supporting your overall physical health and mental wellbeing. Baby’s, too!
My approach to prenatal yoga
My prenatal yoga classes are not just filled with modified poses that make it safe for pregnancy. I specifically choose postures and design flows with intention to benefit pregnancy, labor, and postpartum healing. My classes are safe for anyone who is trying to conceive, women who are currently pregnant, and those who have recently brought their baby earthside.
Takeaway: My prenatal yoga classes are safe by design, no matter which phase of motherhood you’re in. Check out my prenatal yoga class schedule! I can’t wait to see you there.
A quick guide to practicing prenatal yoga at home
As I mentioned, sticking to your yoga practice every day of your pregnancy is so beneficial to both you and baby – even in small doses! When creating your own sequences at home or getting on the mat outside of class, here are some of my favorite prenatal postures to build into your practice for the most safe, effective experience:
Squat variations (try 3 sets of 8)
Malasana (yogi squat)
Pelvic floor work
Trikonasana to open the inner groin
A warrior sequence of your choosing (Warrior II will help connect you even more deeply to your inner goddess and root you in the power of motherhood)
A nice long savasana (bonus point for propping up on blocks to open your chest)