I started my daily yoga practice around two years ago and with my third child, I plan to sustain my daily practice with pre-natal yoga. For now, I was advised bed rest, so any asana practice is off the table. But with meditation and breathing, I still continue my yoga practice. I can’t wait to be cleared to continue my asana practice.
Yoga is a great way to help us prepare for labor, birth, and post-natal recovery. Here are some of the benefits of prenatal yoga:
- Helps us keep in shape during pregnancy. As with any regular exercise regime, yoga strengthens muscles. In addition, it improves balance and circulation, with little impact on joints.
- Helps the body and mind deal with stress through deep breathing. Deep breathing slows the heart rate, lowers blood pressure and generally keeps mommy and baby calm. Practicing deep breathing will prepare us for labor.
- Creates more space for baby. Prenatal asanas focus on creating space in the pelvic area, hips, the front and side of the body. As baby grows, more stress is put on specific parts of the body. The added weight puts more weight on the hips, back, and chest. Yoga helps relieves tension on these areas while creating more room for baby to grow, helping us breathe more easily.
- Increases circulation. Joints and muscles are elongated during practice and this helps with circulation of the blood. Swelling is decreased and immunity is enhanced.
- Improves balance. As our body adjusts to the baby growing inside, balance becomes a challenge. With mindful practice, we focus on holding each asana with our breath, greatly enhancing our balance, both physically and mentally.
I have been on bed rest for more than a week now. Lack of physical activity reduces muscle strength, decreases circulation, and generally makes me feel lethargic. I can’t wait to get back to practicing prenatal yoga and maximize its benefits for a healthy pregnancy.