There is so much conflicting information out there about what you can and can not do during pregnancy. The real problem I think is that people who don't understand pregnant anatomy is trying to draw conclusions about what is safe and what isn't. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, prenatal yoga is one of the safest forms of exercise during pregnancy.
I wanted to share with you some of the ways yoga can benefit you during your pregnancy.
Focusing on your breath can be your single greatest tool to find a moment of rest and relief during your pregnancy and in labor. Yoga practice can help you bring awareness to your breath, bringing increased oxygen to your blood and brain. It can help you energize the body while focusing the mind.
Yoga mindfulness practice can help reduce anxiety, depression and stress associated with pregnancy. Yoga offers mindfulness benefits through movements of yoga postures, but also in stillness and meditative yoga practices.
As your body changes during pregnancy, you can start to feel out of balance and overwhelmed. Your body begins to change shape and your strength, digestive system, senses, sleep, and energy follow. It's during this time that you needs extra love and support to feel good. Your body is dedicating resources to grow your healthy baby and preparing your body for birth. Yoga can help with keeping the body strong, balanced, and lead to self-love and acceptance.
Sending love to your baby through a dedicated yoga practice can help build a healthy emotional connection. Through yoga we mindfully send positive energy to baby, opening space for love to flow and bring joy and awareness to the beauty of pregnancy. Prenatal yoga offers space for connection.
Many women have shared the sentiment that childbirth is like a marathon. Whether you're planning a natural birth, a cesarean section or other medicated options, it's best to prepare your body and mind for an intense experience. Yoga during pregnancy offers benefits to hip flexibility, strengthening your pelvic floor, building physical endurance and offering breath and mindfulness practice that pay off big time on the big day, as well as supporting you with a quick post-birth recovery.
Prenatal yoga helps prime your physical body and your mental state for what's coming and gives you a solid foundation for recovery. Post-natal yoga classes focus on healing, strengthening and connection safely.
My yoga journey has taken me some interesting places. I started yoga to deal with anxiety. Then I used it to help recover from knee surgery and pelvic issues caused by a car wreck. I learned how to calm my mind and strengthen my body.
While going through my teacher training, I did a class on prenatal yoga. There's not a lot of information provided in a regular 200 or 300 hour yoga teacher training about prenatal yoga. However, what I did get, was a desire to learn more. The moment we set our hands on our bellies and were told to connect to our babies and send an intention, I felt something shift. I wished I had this when I was pregnant. I read so many books (I'm a researcher, AKA nerd) about what I could and could not do during pregnancy. There were a lot of mixed results and little based in science. I remember hiking and then not being able to walk for days after because my ligaments had loosened and my muscles were taxed trying to hold my joints together. I also remember being completely overwhelmed with anxiety and having no one to talk to that understood what I was going through.
I decided to dig deeper. I researched and found a program that dealt with prenatal and postpartum yoga. I was hooked! Anatomy, biomechanics, and how it applies to the pre and post pregnant body. This is what I had been looking for. I knew immediately I wanted to educate and help pregnant and new moms mentally and physically with their changing bodies and emotions. While receiving my certification, I also became super interested in the pelvic floor.
I have friends who have organ prolapses, incontinence, and pelvic pain (and I've been known to occasionally pee my pants if I sneeze hard enough). This is from age, pregnancy, and/or just pelvic instability. Again, there's so little information out there. I began to find that most doctors don't even know anything about the pelvic floor.
I'm loving this new journey I'm on. Soaking up the knowledge, processing it, and helping women get back in touch with their bodies and minds. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out. Also, keep posted. I'll be sharing lots of info in the future about the changing female body, how yoga can help, and even the misconceptions of pregnancy and the pelvic floor.