Yoga means “Union”. It is a centuries old practice that promotes balance, harmony, energy, deep breathing and relaxation.
The practice of yoga during pregnancy can be extremely empowering and have a very positive effect on mother and baby/babies, both emotionally and physically. I believe Women’s bodies are designed for pregnancy and birthing so my job as a pre-natal yoga teacher is to remind and awaken that innate knowledge and power within each expectant mother attending.
Benefits of Yoga during Pregnancy:
- Builds a harmonious bridge of contact with your developing baby/babies.
- Teaches positive use of body, mind and breath.
- Assists in the toning and control of the pelvic floor muscles – critical for childbirth.
- Improved efficiency and expansion of breathing capacity.
- Improved sleeping patterns and relaxation.
- Alleviates stress and anxiety levels
- Improved posture can result in a reduction of lower back, neck, shoulders, hips and chest pain.
- Reduction in sciatica pain.
- Reduction in Pelvic Girdle Pain and SPD pain (Symphysis pubic dysfunction).
- Calms and disciplines the mind.
- Improves concentration.
- Reduces tension and can help to restore energy levels.
- Cardiovascular and muscular endurance is increased.
- Stretches and strengthens the skeletal and muscular systems of the body.
- Works on internal organs and the endocrine system which regulates metabolism.
- Helps to improve digestion, reduce heartburn and acid reflux.
- Assists in stabilising blood pressure.
- Positions and breathing techniques specific for labour and birthing.
- Postnatal recovery time can be reduced.
The Pre-natal yoga groups are relaxed, fun, wonderfully supportive, informative and nurturing environments where life-long friendships are forged and social connections made, especially when family and friends live a long distance away.
It is highly recommended to check with your medical practitioner and/or midwife before you begin any form of exercise.
It is advisable for the physical practice of yoga to begin only after the 16th week of pregnancy.
In brief, lying on the front; strong back bends; inversions and over-exerting the abdomen should be avoided regardless of a woman’s prior yoga experience. If any pain is felt during or after yoga then you should cease exercising immediately and contact your GP or midwife.