We know trying a new fitness routine (at any point in your adult life, much more so when you’re pregnant) can be very intimidating. But staying active throughout pregnancy has so many mental and physical benefits! After all, you just might be spending hours (if not days) pushing a baby out, followed by years of running after him/her, so no need to let those muscles turn to butter right now.
If you’re new to yoga, pregnancy is the perfect time to give prenatal yoga a shot. Yoga in general, can be a very powerful tool, but prenatal yoga is the tool that every mama-to-be should use. It’s therapeutic for the mind, body, and soul but with the added support of a community going through your same experiences. It’s basically a therapy session with your friends with some light movement and stretching added in. It’s the ultimate recipe for a happier, healthier expecting mother. It also helps change your mindset from “all of these things are happening to me” to “I get to experience all of these things” and a healthy mindset is something we can definitely get behind.
Here are seven reasons prenatal yoga will make you love pregnancy:
If you’ve never done yoga before, prenatal yoga is the perfect time to start! I remember walking into my first class with my teenie tiny bump, intimidated AF by all the other yogi mamas in my class. But as soon as I heard my instructor say “the next 60 minutes are yours, however you want to spend them. If that means napping in the corner, do that” I knew I was in the right place. Prenatal yoga is zero competition, judgement-free, and offers modifications to accommodate beginners and more advanced yogis.
Labor and delivery is a full on workout, and when you’re in the middle of it you’ll be very thankful you put in the work ahead of time. Prenatal yoga teaches you yogic methods of mindful breathing so your body will stay loose, making delivery significantly easier without having to fight the fear tension. Not to mention you’ll build up some strength to carry your body through the many, many hours of labor.
I was never a huge fan of mom groups, however, prenatal yoga was a different story. Maybe it’s because we all shared an interest in yoga (in addition to being mothers), but there was truly something special about the connections I made in prenatal yoga. At my studio, we started each class sitting in a circle and sharing where we were currently at in our pregnancy. It was a very open and honest conversation and provided the opportunity to ask questions to those further along or simply vent about the overwhelming stress an expectant mother feels. Honestly, it was a breath of fresh air to have a group of ladies in the exact same situation, who could relate to what I was experiencing. To this day, I’m still friends with ladies I met in prenatal yoga. The bond is real.
Bonding With Baby
Pregnancy can often feel like an endless to-do list and your days are spent rushing around trying to get everything done before baby arrives. For one hour a week I was able to focus solely on the fact that I was growing a human! Taking the time to pause really gave me the opportunity to stop all the noise around me and just be one with the little tiny person in my womb. Having something scheduled that allowed me to focus on just feeling everything, emotionally and physically, was magical.
Relax Your Mind & Body
I’m pretty sure all expectant mothers have one thing in common: stress. This class definitely serves up a full dose of zen by teaching you to breathe and lean into things versus running away. That paired with stretching and muscle work will leave your body and mind rejuvenated and ready to take on the world!
Ease Pregnancy Aches & Pains
Your body is going through some major changes which can often be uncomfortable and painful. Thanks to the hormones, your body is way more flexible during pregnancy and your teacher can provide you with safe movements to help ease the aches and pains. I became a big fan of the bolster which allowed me to rest certain areas of my body while moving deeper into certain positions.
As your body is changing, it’s important to understand how to safely accommodate your growing belly and what movements are still safe for mama and baby. In a land of never ending google searches, it’s really nice to have someone there who can deliver the information while providing hands-on assistance. Plus, it’s a room full of mamas so if you ever have questions on anything (yoga related or not), there will most likely be someone who has experienced the same thing and will be able to drop some knowledge for you. It’s basically a trustworthy google search.