The yoga trend is growing, thanks to the many benefits it offers. Data from Allied Market Research shows that the global yoga market is growing at a CAGR of 9.6% from 2021 to 2027. It is also beneficial for expecting mothers.
Prenatal yoga can help you prepare for your baby’s arrival, make labor and delivery easier, and help you feel more relaxed during pregnancy. If you’re curious about how to get started with prenatal yoga but aren’t sure what it entails or how safe it is, here’s everything you need to know:
How to Get Started With Antenatal Yoga
Yoga is an ancient practice that is beneficial for both mind and body. When you’re pregnant, it can help alleviate the aches, pains, and stress associated with pregnancy by improving your flexibility and strength while reducing anxiety. In most cases, 35-90 minutes of yoga practice thrice or four times a week has been known to facilitate vaginal birth.
Antenatal yoga classes are offered at many gyms and fitness centers and through private teachers specializing in prenatal yoga instruction. If you decide to take a class at a gym or studio setting, make sure it’s right for you by checking out these tips:
- Determine whether the teacher has experience teaching prenatal students before signing up for their class. If possible, ask if any other students currently enrolled in the course can give feedback about their experience there. This could be particularly helpful if no one else seems familiar with pregnancy-related issues such as back pain or fatigue from lying flat on the floor during the Savasana pose.
- Research any certifications that might indicate expertise in this area. Look for those issued by reputable organizations such as ACE (American Council on Exercise) rather than ones issued by less credible organizations such as Yoga Alliance International because they don’t require training hours or credits per state law requirements as AYI does.
You can also leverage the benefits of the internet to get started with antenatal yoga. You can easily find many online antenatal classes for yoga and practice it for mind and body relaxation. This can let you get the benefits while enjoying the comfort of your home and flexible schedule.
Physical Benefits of Prenatal Yoga
As you are probably aware, prenatal yoga has numerous physical benefits. Yoga is known to help with back pain and flexibility, which can be especially beneficial for pregnant women experiencing aches and pains due to their changing bodies.
Prenatal yoga also gives expectant mothers a way to prepare for labor and delivery by increasing strength in their core muscles, which helps them withstand contractions during birth and recover afterward. As stated by The Honest Midwife, pregnancy yoga can help you prepare physically and mentally for labor and delivery.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, prenatal classes provide an opportunity for pregnant women who want community support while going through one of life’s most exciting journeys.
Improved Flexibility and Strength
One of the most significant benefits of prenatal yoga is that it can help improve your flexibility and strength. During pregnancy, many women experience increased muscle tension due to their extra weight, making it difficult to perform everyday tasks like reaching for something on a high shelf or walking up stairs.
Prenatal yoga helps relieve this tension by stretching muscles and joints that may not have been stretched. By increasing your range of motion, you’ll be able to move more efficiently throughout your day and feel better overall.
A common misconception about yoga is that it’s only relaxing. However, many poses are explicitly designed with strengthening in mind. If done correctly, these poses will help tone muscles around the pelvis area, giving support during labor when needed most.
Reduced Back Pain
Back pain is one of the most common pregnancy-related complaints, and yoga can help you. Data shows that more than 18,000 Americans have opted for the Mind-Body Stress Release (MBSR) technique, a part of the yoga approach towards pregnancy, to treat chronic lower back pain. The following poses are suitable for your back:
- Cat-Cow Pose (Marjaryasana)
- Child’s Pose (Balasana)
- Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)
If you’re new to yoga or have a lower level of flexibility, modify these poses by keeping the knees on the floor and moving into them slowly. For example, the Child’s Pose begins with just one leg extended out. Then extend both legs when it feels comfortable.
Eased Labor and Delivery
“The benefits of prenatal yoga for expecting mothers are numerous. Many women don’t realize that prenatal yoga can help ease labor and delivery, but it can. If you’re interested in trying out some poses to see how they feel during your pregnancy, here are some tips:
- First, ensure you’re comfortable with the pose before attempting it during labor. You want to relax as much as possible so your body can do what it needs to do without being distracted by discomfort or pain caused by incorrect form or position.
- If you feel any sort of pain or discomfort during this process, even if it’s mild, stop immediately. Your body is telling you something important, and ignoring those signals could end up causing more harm than good later on.
Yoga has also been scientifically proven to be beneficial for easing labor. According to a study from ScienceDirect, regular yoga practice effectively reduces lumbar-pelvic pain and labor time.
Mental and Emotional Benefits of Prenatal Yoga
Prenatal yoga provides a safe space for expecting mothers to explore their physical and emotional health. The practice teaches you how to deeply connect with your baby, which in turn helps you feel more connected to yourself. By practicing prenatal yoga regularly, you’ll notice an increase in mental and emotional benefits such as:
Reduced Stress and Anxiety
Prenatal yoga can help reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep quality, increase relaxation and calmness, and improve mood and emotional well-being.
Prenatal yoga is a gentle practice that teaches you how to breathe correctly through different poses. The breathing techniques used during prenatal yoga will help you feel more relaxed during pregnancy which can lead to less stress overall.
Increased Relaxation and Calmness
Yoga can offer the following benefits for relaxation and calmness.
- Relaxation is a vital part of yoga. It can help you relax and calm your body, mind, and spirit.
- Relaxation techniques are used during labor to reduce pain and anxiety. They can also be used during pregnancy to reduce stress, anxiety, and sleep problems.
- Breathing exercises are very practical for relaxation because they bring more oxygen into the bloodstream, which helps the muscles relax faster than just sitting still would do by itself.
Improved Sleep Quality
Getting a good night’s sleep can be difficult for a pregnant woman. Your body is changing, and your hormones are fluctuating, which can cause you to feel restless or uncomfortable. Yoga can help you manage these symptoms and improve the quality of your sleep.
Yoga helps reduce stress, which can help you relax more easily at night so that when it comes time for bedtime, you’re more relaxed and ready for restful slumber. In addition, yoga encourages a focus on breathing, a key component of meditation, which has been shown to promote relaxation during pregnancy.
Finally, yoga also provides information about different positions for sleeping with added weight to prevent back pain or discomfort from developing over time due to poor posture while lying down.
We hope this article has given you a better understanding of the benefits of prenatal yoga and how it can help improve your pregnancy. We also emphasize that safety is paramount when practicing yoga during pregnancy. If, at any point during your practice, you do not feel comfortable, stop immediately and consult with your doctor or midwife.