Pre Natal Yoga; The perfect pregnancy companion
Prenatal yoga; the perfect pregnancy companion
If you're pregnant and looking for ways to stay fit, improve circualtion, minimise discomfort as your body grows and strengthen your body to prepare for the journey ahead, prenatal yoga is your answer.
Prenatal yoga is a multifaceted practice that harmonises movement with focused breathing to encourage strength, flexibility and endurance of the muscles required for childbirth.
Suitable for those who are new to yoga and more experienced practitioners alike, prenatal yoga can play an important role during pregnancy by empowering the mother-to-be to have the most conscious birth experience and help connect more deeply with her baby.
During pregnancy, a women’s body adapts in many ways to make way for the new life within. This is a a very precious time but it doesn't come without physical and emotional challenges.
Common physical ailments experienced during pregnancy are lower back pain, nausea, headaches, sleeplessness and shortness of breath. Pregnancy is a major transition point in a woman's life. During any transition, it’s perfectly normal to feel like you are riding an emotional rollercoaster. It’s not uncommon for Mums-to-be to swing from feeling overjoyed and excited to fearful and anxious about motherhood and the birth itself.
Prenatal yoga helps to address all of these concerns from the intense physical demands on the body as well as the emotional side effects of pregnancy. It will help you to become more embodied in your new body whilst helping to deepen the bond with your baby whilst encouraging you to tap into the innate feminine wisdom that had been passed down through generations. This wisdom knows exactly what is best for you and your baby and can be trusted implicitly. Finding stillness through your practice will help you tap into this inner knowing.
What you can expect from a prenatal session
A typical prenatal yoga class will include:
Focused breathing. In pre natal yoga, the main focus is the breath, with deep long breaths through the nose, drawing the breath down into the body. Cultivating this deeper breath awareness can help with stress and anxiety and help manage shortness of breath during pregnancy. Deep breathing and anchoring to the breath will help keep you focused when physical sensations become intense.
Physical asana . Each prenatal yoga session will be tailored to the individuals needs and stage of pregnancy. Typically, a session will include lengthening and creating space for you and the baby and taking areas of the body through their full range of motion. Whilst you definitely won't be mastering your handstand, prenatal yoga sessions can still be phyiscally challenging. Labour Is one of the most physically demanding tests a women will ever endure. A skilled pregnancy yoga teacher, such as our teachers, will help you uncover your true strength and stamina to prepare you for the journey ahead. The standing segment of the class will usually be the most strenuous part where you will often be invited to work your edge and hold poses for a minute or longer—the length of an average contraction.
Restorative yoga, meditation and relaxation
Pregnancy is not a time to over exert yourself so relaxation always plays a vital part in pre natal yoga. Restorative yoga teaches us how to slow down and be with the breath and the stirring of life within. With the use of props and blankets vitality is restored to the body in a gentle and supported way. Teachers will often guide you through a visualisation or meditation to help new Mums connect deeply to the baby and to release any worries you may be holding.
At a time when you may feel, nauseous, tired and emotional, a regular prenatal yoga practice can give you the energy to enjoy your pregnancy, to build a deeper intimacy with your own body and spirit, It also teaches you how to be fully present for the miracle of birth.
“Doing prenatal yoga doesn't mean you'll have the 'perfect' birth; it means you'll be able to accept the perfection of the birth you're given, regardless of whether it goes according to your plan."
General guidelines are that you do not practise yoga during the first trimester. Start in the second trimester and continue your classes until before birth. Be conscious of how your body feels and seek medical advice regarding any health issues.
If you have a pre existing medical condition and are unsure if pregnancy yoga is right for you, talk to your health care provider.