Prenatal yoga is a great idea for many reasons. It can help because it is good and gentle exercise; it can help stretch muscles and keep them limber, keep minor aches and pains at bay and can even help prepare for labor and delivery reducing risk of preterm delivery.
Not only this, prenatal yoga can help to improve sleep quality for a pregnant woman and reduce stress and anxiety. It can lower discomfort of carpal tunnel and lower back pain. The increased flexibility and muscle endurance that comes with yoga practice can also improve the actual experience of childbirth.
You can join pregnancy yoga classes or if this isn’t possible for any reason you can get a DVD of pregnancy yoga that you can follow in the comfort and privacy of your own home.
In either case, look for an instructor who is well versed and experienced with prenatal yoga. There are certain poses that are not suitable for certain parts of a pregnancy and the instructor should be well aware of these do’s and don’ts.
What you can typically expect at a pregnancy yoga class-
1. The yoga postures or asanas will be aimed at increasing flexibility and balance. Props such as cushions and blankets may be used.
2. Gentle stretching exercises will help relax the muscles of the body including those important ones in the pelvic region and help keep them limber and supple.
3. There is importance given to relaxation and breathing exercises during prenatal yoga class.
Humming or grunting and breath control are important during labor control the breath and work though contractions and a woman typically may get a foretaste of this during the class.
Mindful breathing, listening to the sound of your own breath will be encouraged during yoga class to bring about greater awareness of the self which in turn increases relaxation.
4. Another plus point of joining a prenatal yoga class is the fact that you will get to meet other pregnant women who are going though the same amazing experiences as you. You will be able to form friendships, swap stories and even get tips for minimizing the discomforts and problems that pregnancy can bring with it.
The bonding and camaraderie of being part of a class such as this cannot be discounted. This can be meaningful social interaction for a woman who finds her activities somewhat restricted particularly during the later stages of her pregnancy.