Yoga is vital for mothers-to-be.
Many expectantmothers are surprised to learn about the benefits of prenatal yoga. It has taken the Western world centuries to embrace prenatal yoga. In the past, many doctors treated the mother-to-be with extreme care like she was ill or had a medical condition. This view was based on the fear that movement and exercise could be dangerous to the mother and unborn baby. It was not until 1985 that the American College of Obstetricians made the first recommendations for exercise and pregnancy.
Thankfully today we know how exercising and yoga bring benefits to both mother and baby.
Why prenatal yoga? Prenatal yoga can ease the discomforts of pregnancy (moodiness, swollen ankles, shortness of breath.) It gives you the opportunity to bond with your baby, other pregnant goddesses and helps prepare your body for labor. Many of my prenatal clients are new to yoga. I also get some clients who want to embrace a gentler feminine approach to their existing practice.
Prenatal yoga classes are very powerful and can help many women reclaim their physical and mental power while becoming receptive and confident during labor. Prenatal classes are not intended to shape the body or avoid gaining weight. Prenatal classes are meant to celebrate your femininity. In class,we embrace the beauty of the changing body, the bond you are creating with your baby and the connections and support you establish with other women during this period.
“Somehow, as women, we think we will automatically know how to give birth, but we are so detached from our instinctual selves that sometimes we need to be reminded of what we already know.” ~ Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa, co-founder and director of Golden Bridge Yoga
During pregnancy the body changes. Prenatal teachers safely guide their students so they can explore and expand their threshold for discomfort. During pregnancy the ligaments in the pelvic area and lower back loosen due to an increase in the hormone relaxin. Relaxin is believed to soften the public symphysis and lengthen the cervix. Understanding the hormonal characteristics of pregnancy is crucial to prenatal yoga. Women can avoid over-stretching and injury, which can occur because the ligaments and joints are already looser than normal.
What can you expect during a prenatal class?
Each prenatal class varies from teacher to teacher. Some of the common things you will find are: breathing exercises, meditations, gentle warm-ups, standing poses, some basic balancing poses, seated poses and a modified savasana. It sounds like a regular class doesn’t it? Well yes and no. One of the things we need to remember is that now we are sharing our bodies with our babies so we cannot push as hard as we do in regular classes.
Don’t be fooled into thinking prenatal yoga is for wimps.
Even though we are not here to master advanced poses the level of intensity might surprise you. Prenatal yoga helps mothers-to-be uncover hidden sources of stamina. They maximize their hip flexibility preparing their bodies for childbirth. Pregnant ladies can expect to hold poses for a minute or longer to build mental and physical strength needed to endure the length of an average contraction.
As a prenatal teacher I encourage my ladies to stay present, use their breath and remind them that for thousands of years women have been giving birth. Prenatal yoga can help you during pregnancy and delivery. It also may help you recover more quickly from childbirth and get you back to your normal self faster.
Don’t forget to get permission from your doctor and find a fully certified prenatal teacher.
Adri Kyser E-RYT 500 is a Vinyasa, Prana Flow yoga teacher, and Power Pilates instructor. Adri’s classes are fun, dynamic and inspiring. During her classes she invites you to surrender and let go of inhibitions allowing you to find your natural and innate flow, transforming your practice from a state of doing into a state of being. In addition, Adri is a contributor for Origin Magazine, YogaVibes,Yogitunes, and Learn it Live. You can find Adri sharing her passion for yoga by leading master classes, workshops, teacher trainings and retreats in the Dallas area and abroad. For more information please visit Inner Beauty Yoga.
Editor: Carrie Stiles
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