If you are pregnant and looking for a way to stay fit while focusing on relaxation, look no further than prenatal yoga. Not only is prenatal yoga a great way to help yourself have a healthy pregnancy, but it is also a wonderful way to help prepare your body for labor and delivery.
But I’ve Never Practiced Yoga Before…
If you have never practiced yoga before or if you weren’t very active prior to finding out you were pregnant, a prenatal yoga class can be a great way to help your body and your state of mind in a positive way. Not only will prenatal yoga help to lower your blood pressure and aid in digestion, but many people report sleeping better and lower stress levels after even just one class!
Many preparation classes for child birth are actually quite similar to prenatal yoga. Both tend to focus on controlled breathing exercises, stretching and mental calmness. Furthermore, prenatal yoga can also help to decrease nausea and lower back pain, along with increasing the strength and durability of many of the muscles that are used during child birth. Even better? Prenatal yoga gives you the opportunity to meet other women who are going through the very same things you are, helping you to feel less alone and like there really is someone out there who understands what you are feeling. Not only does that mean new friendships you might not have had the opportunity to form otherwise, but guaranteed playmates for your child’s first few years.
What is Prenatal Yoga Class Like?
So what exactly happens during a prenatal yoga class? Well, most will likely start off with some slow breathing exercises that can help you later on with breathing through contractions. Then you will likely move onto various stretches and positions working muscles in your legs, neck, back and arms. Finally, the class will conclude with a cool down that will bring you back to a normal, resting heart rate.
Though you may be weary of exercising during pregnancy due to stories you have heard or what your own mom tells you, you likely have nothing to fear. Exercising throughout each trimester is often strongly encouraged to keep both yourself and your little one healthy and strong. However, any exercising you decide to do – whether it is walking, running, yoga, etc. – should always be discussed with your doctors prior to being completed. You just want to make sure they know what you are doing, what your strength levels are and that you (and the baby) are growing as you should.