Whether you are a few weeks or a few months pregnant, you are going to want to keep building your strength, because whether you’re ready or not you are growing another human being throughout this pregnancy, which along with labor takes energy and strength. Prenatal Yoga helps to build strength and stability in your upper and lower body, legs, and back. Building strength in these areas helps tremendously in carrying that added weight, in preventing back pain in pregnancy, and will help compensate for the balance changes that will quickly be headed your way!
Have you been feeling a bit clumsy lately? Welcome to pregnancy!
Between the extra pounds and surging hormones, you may have been feeling a little wobbly. Yoga will help tremendously during these changes; from your weight, to body shape, to recovery after birth. There are many different poses to help with balance and strength. One of the more celebrated poses is Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Savanasa). This pose uses every muscle in your body as it stretches and tones. It also helps your baby move in to a head-down position with the aid of gravity. It takes pressure off the pelvic floor and lower back as you support your own body weight with your arms, legs, and core muscles.
If you’re newly pregnant you may not have any complaints about back pain in pregnancy yet, but in no time it will make an ugly appearance. Most moms will attest to this.
Back pain in pregnancy usually increases as your uterus and baby grow, which causes more forward pull on your back, known as “Lordosis”. If you are experiencing this, I am sure that exercise is the last thing you think you want to do, but prenatal yoga can actually prevent this pain and make it go away altogether with regular practice. If you do only one thing, try the Cow and Cat Stretch sequence (Bitilasana). Get on your hands and knees and arch your back as you inhale, and round your back on the exhale. It feels great!
It’s only natural to get nervous or have anxiety about labor, especially for a first baby. It doesn’t help that everyone and their moms have some drama-filled birth story to tell you. Believe it or not, yoga’s practice of deep abdominal breathing helps you relax, and relieve anxiety. It causes your body to produce endorphins and reduce your perception of pain.
You will learn to be in tune with your breathing, recognizing every breath you take, in and out. The calm atmosphere with peaceful music playing sets the stage. All of your worries will soon disappear as you learn to enjoy the moment. This serenity actually leads to a deeper bond with your baby, knowing every breath you take, every beat of your heart nourish and nurture both you and your baby.
Not only can yoga increase your strength, it can also help you to have an easier birth.
Prenatal yoga is amazing for helping to open your hips. There are many positions and stretches you will learn throughout your classes that will prepare you and your baby for birth, helping your baby drop into the right position for labor and help with the pushing phase of labor and birth.
What Have You Got To Lose?
Here’s a short list: anxiety, back pain, sciatica pain, pregnancy discomfort. You will gain confidence in yourself and your body as you prepare for labor. Maybe you’ll make new friends when you will meet a handful of pregnant moms who are experiencing all the same things you are. So, mamas, get going. You are going to love it! “Let’s Get Down Dog!”