Pregnancy is a powerful time.
It’s a journey all its own, and one that you can’t fully comprehend until you walk it yourself. It is complete with highs and lows, ranging from the elation you feel when you first pee on a stick to the overwhelming fatigue that goes along with the first trimester, all the way to the excitement and doubts that arise as you approach your due date. Luckily, yoga helps us not only deal with the pregnancy symptoms, but also helps us step into our new role of mama goddess! If you haven’t taken your bump to the mat just yet, here are 4 reasons to consider trying out a prenatal yoga class—even if you are not a yogi (yet).
From the moment you walk into the room of glowing mamas-to-be, you are initiated into a secret club. It has become a sort of rite-of-passage in our culture to take a prenatal yoga class, and you are in. If you are the first of your close friends to be pregnant, you may be feeling isolated. You are sitting on the sidelines at happy hour. No one wants to discuss the best baby carrier or sling with you. None of your co-workers understand why you cant keep your eyes open, and there is no coffee to help you. In a prenatal yoga class, your feelings are validated. No matter what everyone has chosen for their birth plan, all natural or epidural, you will be able to share your highs and lows in a safe, nurturing space. Being surrounded by all the oxytocin, you will leave feeling understood, happier, and stronger.
2. Practice Breathing
Breath is a powerful tool that we can call on throughout our pregnancies and when the time finally comes to deliver. Prenatal yoga is a great place to practice those gusty sighs or low breaths that will help you to relax and open. Your teacher will most likely guide you through a variety of breaths during class, all of which you can choose to take with you during your labor and delivery. By practicing breath work and not just reading about it, you will become comfortable with using it as a tool and see what exactly works for you. This way, when you are feeling those unrelenting surges, you will know exactly what to do.
3. Physical Preparation
While you may not see chaturanga and shoulder stand in your class, you will see poses that actually prepare the body for birth. For example, did you know that a squat pose will open your pelvis up to 26% larger? You will open the hips, strengthen the legs, take care of your aching back—everything you need to go into you labor like the rock star mama you are becoming.
4. Learning to Let Go
If there is one lesson we learn in yoga that we constantly keep coming back to, it is “let it go“. Whether it is letting go of the exhale or letting go of our attachments, our yoga teaches us that all we have is the present moment. This is incredibly important for mothers-to-be. We can plan every moment of our birth, but sometimes things can still come up that are totally out of our control. We may need to let go of our ideas of how things should be and step into the role of the mama who is brave, strong, and flexible.
Once you begin to understand the benefits of pre-natal yoga, you’ll grab your water, your mat and begin your practice—for two.
Author: Logan Kinney
Editor: Alli Sarazen
Photo: Courtesy of Author