During pregnancy, your body will undergo many changes that can be stressful both mentally and physically.
These changes can sometimes leave you tired and unmotivated, which can leave many moms-to-be feeling like they have the perfect excuse to slack off and just take it easy.
However, what many fail to realize is that any pregnancy can dramatically benefit when prenatal yoga is thrown into the mix.
Still not convinced?
We’ve listed down 7 peerless benefits only prenatal yoga can provide:
1. It help keep common pregnancy complaints at bay.
Are you experiencing common ails and discomforts often associated with pregnancy (read: nausea, headaches, lower back pain, insomnia, carpal tunnel syndrome, and shortness of breath, to name a few)?
If so, you’d be delighted to know that yoga might just be what you need to keep those prevalent pregnancy discomforts at bay.
Apart from helping you stretch and tone your muscles, yoga can also help promote good blood circulation throughout the body.
While there is no guarantee yoga can ward off all the symptoms associated with pregnancy, its multi-dimensional approach to emotional and physical health can at least help make some of the challenging (and uncomfortable) aspects a lot more tolerable.
2. It helps tone your vital muscle groups.
Yoga teacher and co-author of the book Yoga for a Healthy Lower Back: A Practical Guide to Developing Strength and Relieving Pain Liz Owen states that prenatal yoga helps practitioners prepare for the birthing process by toning the body especially the hip, pelvic floor, and the abdominal core muscles.
A muscle that is properly toned should have the perfect balance between strength and length.
In other words, it is not too tight nor too lax.
When you build and maintain muscle tone while pregnant, you are also able to significantly reduce the occurrence of pregnancy-related aches and pains.
3. It can help give your body some much-needed support.
While our bodies are often constantly evolving, it experiences accelerated changes during pregnancy.
In line with this, the body can use all the help it can get in terms of adjusting and compensating.
Thankfully, a prenatal yoga practice can help the body adjust and compensate for the changes by providing safe ways to strengthen the body and stretch the muscles.
It also helps make supporting a growing belly a lot easier by keeping the lower body strong.
4. It can help promote mother-baby connection.
Going to and regularly attending a prenatal yoga class helps you take time out of your busy routine to care for and bond with your growing baby.
Over the course of the pregnancy, yoga will gently remind you of your body’s response to the changes brought about by motherhood.
For instance, some yoga poses like the Hero pose where you will be asked to sit back on your heels and then sit straight up to lengthen the spine becomes more meaningful if you incorporate deep breathing in the mix.
This will foster a better connection with your unborn baby as during the said pose, you gently sink your belly toward the spine.
For some, it can be akin to giving the baby a hug, strengthening the mother-baby bond as a result.
5. It helps warrant a healthier pregnancy.
A study in India conducted in 2005 and was published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine indicated that expectant mothers who practice yoga are less likely to deliver low-birthweight babies or have preterm labor.
The study has 335 participants.
One group were made to walk twice a day for 30 minutes while the other group practiced an hour of yoga daily.
Results of the study showed that the group who practiced yoga delivered babies with better birthweights and were able to carry their pregnancies to full-term.
6. It will help you connect with other expectant mothers.
One of the best advantages of prenatal yoga is the opportunity to join a community where the members are going through the same thing.
In other words, a prenatal yoga class can be synonymous to a pregnancy support group where you can connect with other women who are also experiencing and dealing with the same physical and lifestyle changes.
Having and knowing other women who are going through the same motherhood journey will not only help minimize anxieties but can also help you appreciate the whole process of motherhood.Preggers? Here’s why you should consider doing yoga.
In addition, the opportunity to compare notes with other expectant mothers can also help you feel like you are a part of a community that is both supportive and genuine.
7. It will help you prepare better for labor and delivery.
Many prenatal yoga classes incorporate teaching women to trust their bodies to “open up” to labor and birth.
Sans the “opening up,” the effort to maintain calmness and presence of mind during labor can be significantly sabotaged.
Fortunately, the mindful and deep breathing often characteristic of yoga can help the body relax and loosen up and help it to easily accomplish what it knows instinctively—give birth.