Prenatal yoga is a great way to stay relaxed and fit during your pregnancy. It allows your a unique and special time to connect with your baby, and has proven to help you prepare for labor and promote baby's health.
Prenatal yoga is a multifaceted approach to exercise that encourages stretching, mental centering and focused breathing. Prenatal yoga is safe and can have many benefits for pregnant women and their babies:
- Improve sleep
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Increase the strength, flexibility and endurance of muscles needed for childbirth
- Decrease lower back pain, nausea, carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms, headaches and shortness of breath
Prenatal yoga can also help you meet and bond with other pregnant women and prepare for the stress of being a new parent.
A typical prenatal yoga class might involve:
- Breathing. You'll be encouraged to focus on breathing in and out slowly and deeply through the nose. Prenatal yoga breathing techniques might help you reduce or manage shortness of breath during pregnancy and work through contractions during labor.
- Gentle stretching. You'll be encouraged to gently move different areas of your body, such as your neck and arms, through their full range of motion.
- Postures. While standing, sitting or lying on the ground, you'll gently move your body into different positions aimed at developing your strength, flexibility and balance. Props — such as blankets, cushions and belts — might be used to provide support and comfort.
- Cool down and relaxation. At the end of each prenatal yoga class, you'll relax your muscles and restore your resting heart rate and breathing rhythm. You might be encouraged to listen to your own breathing, pay close attention to sensations, thoughts and emotions, or repeat a mantra or word to bring about a state of self-awareness and inner calm.