Benefits of Prenatal Yoga

 


by Karen Prior, Creator of MamasteYoga®

 

 

Yoga can be an integral part of your childbirth preparation
There are many benefits in attending a prenatal yoga class during pregnancy, benefits that are far beyond what you can receive in a regular yoga class. Mamaste Yoga® prenatal classes are structured with exercises and yoga techniques to help promote healthy pregnancy, keep your mind clear during labor, and ease you into motherhood. Regular attendance offers you the opportunity to consistently practice. these exercises for greater benefits.

Ease Your Aches and Pains
The unique physical changes that go along with pregnancy often contribute to aches and pains in the back, hips and shoulders. Yoga exercises create physical balance and bring ease to these aches and pains. In our classes you will learn postures you can use therapeutically for specific physical issues you might encounter in your pregnancy.

Learn to be Present
The study of yoga teaches us the importance of being present and quieting the mind, as the mind is the root of much of our suffering. Yoga gives us tools to use when our minds get the “best of us,” when we feel fear, doubt, or feel as if we want to give up. Focusing on the breath helps keep us in the moment and helps us remain present with our abilities and situation; this can help in remaining calm and making informed decisions rather than reacting to our emotions.

Build Breath Awareness
Cultivating breath awareness can be an excellent tool in dealing with the stresses of pregnancy and motherhood. As emotional excitement affects the rate of breathing- so too, the rate of breathing may affect the state of emotion. Steady, balanced, and thorough breathing can lead to healthy nerves and an evenness of mind and temper. Yoga based breathing exercises help us to slow down the heart rate, clear our minds and relax our bodies.

Gain Confidence in Your Body
Research shows that women who exercise and do yoga in pregnancy have higher self confidence in their abilities to give birth (Sun, 2009). Through the yoga exercises you can gain this confidence in your body’s ability to move and your mind’s ability to be present and focused on the task at hand.

Connect with Other Pregnant Women
Our classes can be a great way to connect with other women that are making the same choices and lifestyles changes that you are. We hope that this community is a good source of support for you and your new family throughout your childbearing years.

Connect with your Baby
Bonding begins when baby is in the womb. In each class we remind you to take time and connect with your baby through meditation, breath and touch.

Rehearse for Labor
In each class we practice movements, breathing techniques and relaxation that are a rehearsal for labor. Think of your yoga class as a compliment to your childbirth education class as it gives you time for weekly practice of the comfort measures you can use in labor and birth.

Benefits Before and After a Cesarean
Attendance in yoga class benefits women regardless of the type of birth that they have. The benefits for cesarean birth may even be greater. Research shows that women who exercise in pregnancy recover faster after a cesarean than women who do not exercise (Clap, 2002). Yoga breathing techniques can be used before and after surgery, and in recovery. Pelvic floor exercises are important for all women and can aid in recovery of the lower abdominal wall after a cesarean.

Recover Faster
Women who exercise and do yoga experience a faster recovery after birth. You can continue your yoga practice by attending our postnatal yoga classes along with your baby. The focus of these classes is correcting the posture along with recovering the abdominal muscles and pelvic floor.

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References:
Sun YC, Hung YC, Chang Y, Kuo SC. Effects of a prenatal yoga programme on the discomforts of pregnancy and maternal childbirth self-efficacy in Taiwan. Midwifery. 2009 Feb 24.

Clapp, J. 2002 Exercising Through Your Pregnancy, Omaha, Addicus Books, Inc.

Always consult with your physician or midwife before beginning an exercise program.

©2009 Karen Prior, MamasteYoga.com


Karen Prior
E-RYT 500, RPYT, LCCE, CD(DONA)
Phone: (405) 320-9642
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