From learning to create a deeper connection to your baby, to gaining some relief from back pain and headaches, there are many reasons to join a prenatal yoga series or class. Here are a few things to consider if you are still on the fence about how it might be able to help you:
1. Community - One of the most important aspects you may find when you join a prenatal yoga class at a local gym or studio is the exposure to the others who are going through the same thing. Often, prenatal yoga doubles as both a workout and an opportunity to meet new friends. Week after week, you will start to learn more and more about your classmates and your time spent together stretching can turn into meeting up outside the studio for lunch or a walk around the park. Gaining a community is one of the biggest things that can contribute to a happy pregnancy. Some of the best classes even include a little social time before and after class, so put on your best smile and put yourself out there to meet new friends.
2. Stress reduction – If this is your first baby, prenatal yoga can be the perfect thing to help calm any fears you might have about delivery. In a class, you’ll learn breathing techniques and calming exercises to help you through the experience. You will also learn how to focus on your physical body awareness and how to improve your mental focus when the time comes to start pushing.
3. Learn how to adapt to intensity – Holding a wall squat or pulsing in a squat pose are just two ways to practice how to breathe and relax when you are in an intense situation. Instead of moving out of the pose, you will learn to breathe into it and work through the tension you might be feeling, not against it.
4. Helps reduce aches and pains – You’ll always want to be cleared by your doctor before starting an exercise regimen when you are pregnant, but prenatal yoga can help reduce aches and pains during your pregnancy by stretching muscles that might be achy and tight. You will begin to see even more benefits if you attend class regularly.
Kelly is a yoga teacher and wellness consultant in Austin, Texas. She specializes in prenatal yoga and completed her 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) training in 2011 at Pranayoga School of Yoga and Health in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Since then, she has taught a variety of classes in the Midwest and facilitated four sold-out workshops. She is also a certified personal trainer and has experience teaching prenatal Pilates. Her goal is to help clients learn to relax and to live in peace in the present moment.