Pregnancy yoga is a wonderful hobby to participate in when you are expecting, even if you have never done yoga before! Many people take up pregnancy yoga as a way of improving their physical fitness, but there are plenty of other benefits of pregnancy yoga for you and your baby – here are just a few:
Dedicated time for your pregnancy
In a busy life, where many work almost until their due date, pregnancy can fly by. By booking a pregnancy yoga class, and setting specific time aside it will give you time to connect with your pregnancy, mentally adjust and recognise your changing body. If you already have children, it can be even harder to find time to rest and connect with your pregnancy. Again, dedicated time means you have to put your new pregnancy first – even if just for an hour.
Bonding with your baby
However you feel about your pregnancy, a yoga class can be a beautiful way to connect and bond with your baby. On my pregnancy yoga class I make sure that there are little moments throughout the course where you can check in with your baby and say ‘hello’. The class always finishes with a lovely hypnobirthing inspired guided relaxation. It’s during this part of the class that some people notice extra movement from their baby as they are flooded with lovely, relaxing hormones.
Of course a pregnancy class isn’t all about fitness, it can be sociable too! Adapting to life with a newborn can be really overwhelming and isolating. It becomes much more manageable when you have people that you can talk to who are going through a similar experience. On my pregnancy yoga class in Dartford, each class starts with some introductions where everyone on the class can get to know each other. This way you can connect with other local parents to be ready for maternity leave.
Improved sleep during pregnancy
Many people find sleep difficult during pregnancy. A combination of pregnancy insomnia, night leg cramps, difficulty getting comfortable with a bump, a smaller bladder and over thinking things can all contribute. One of the benefits of pregnancy yoga is learning relaxation techniques that you can use outside of class, including to help you sleep.
Pregnancy yoga is designed to improve your ability to relax and provide stress relief. This is great for pregnancy for yourself, but also for your baby. Your hormones are being constantly passed on to your baby, so the less stressed you are the more happy hormones get passed on to your baby. Learning how to stay calm and relax fully can also really benefit you during your birth. If you are having a natural birth, your contractions are always more efficient when you are calm with relaxed muscles. If you are having a medicalised birth, staying calm will help you to focus and not panic during any procedures.
Keeping fit is a huge benefit of pregnancy yoga, either to maintain your fitness or improve it. The big benefit compared to a regular fitness class is that you will be exercising in a pregnancy safe way. Even if you feel no different physically, a pregnancy yoga teacher will be trained in how to adapt moves so that they are safe for you and your baby. On my class I always offer modifications on poses depending on if you are second or third trimester. I also offer modifications for experience level, energy level (this can change constantly in pregnancy) and for pregnancy ailments.
Pregnancy sickness relief
Pregnancy sickness is usually caused by a fluctuation of hormones. By taking part in some light or low impact exercise your body will release different hormones, which can cancel out the hormones causing nausea and fatigue. Pregnancy yoga is usually low impact so perfect for easing nausea.
Preparing for birth
By practicing balance poses that work your core and legs you are improving your strength and stamina. Having strength in these muscles will help you during labour, where lots of physical power is needed.
On my pregnancy yoga classes I also include pranayama (breath work) whilst engaging or relaxing the pelvic floor. Learning how to tone the pelvic floor will help you in your post natal recovery. Learning how to relax the pelvic floor will help you to open up and allow your baby out during a vaginal birth.
There are lots of benefits to pregnancy yoga. If you would like to join my pregnancy yoga class in Dartford I’d love to welcome you on! (You are safe to join in after your 12 week check.) You can book a class here.