Pregnancy yoga is here with online classes starting next week
10 reasons to practice pregnancy yoga
It keeps the body strong - Yoga isn't all about stretching! The hormone relaxin is released from the beginning of pregnancy and peaks at around 12 weeks. This means there is increased mobility in ligaments and joints around the sacrum, hips and feet. It's important to keep the muscles around your joints strong for this reason. Yoga helps to maintain cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength, endurance and flexibility during pregnancy.
Boost your energy levels - During pregnancy many physiological changes occur in the body such as nausea, fatigue, and weight gain. Exercising can help to boost your energy levels.
Lower stress and anxiety - In pregnancy yoga we focus on calming techniques to reduce stress and anxiety. There may often be a sense of fear about labour. In yoga we use positive affirmations to help reduce the body's adrenaline 'fight or flight' mode and prepare the body and mind for a birth that is as calm as possible. A number of clinical trials have also demonstrated psychological benefits within the pregnant population. The use of yoga during pregnancy is associated with improvements in perinatal stress, anxiety and depression.
Relaxation and Sleep - Towards the 3rd trimester of pregnancy, you may experience trouble sleeping and feel restless. Pregnancy yoga works to prepare your body for sleep through gentle movement practice, guided relaxation and breath work. If you fall asleep at the end of class this is totally fine!
Connect to other mammas to be - Meeting other mums virtually to be can be a great way to feel supported on your pregnancy journey. Keeping connected with other pregnant women can be reassuring and comforting. I feel this is especially important during these difficult times in COVID.
Helps prepare you for labour - There are some studies that show physical exercise during pregnancy is associated with improved aerobic capacity and general muscular strength which may be beneficial for and facilitate labour.
Pelvic floor health - Yoga may help improve general body alignment, flexibility, strength, control, and overall awareness of your body. All of these aspects assist in strengthening the pelvic floor muscles, alongside specific pelvic floor exercises.
Connect to your baby- My pregnancy yoga classes offer time away from the stresses and strains of the day. Yoga means “to yoke, union” and often refers to the mind/body connection. Part of this connection is between mother and child and yoga allows time to connect to your baby.
Learn about the breath- Yoga is a great way overall to learn about breathing. As your bump grows bigger, often it may begin to feel like you cannot breathe as deeply. Pregnancy yoga focuses on optimizing the breath, even with a growing baby!
Stretch the hips and lower back - I will focus on safe ways for you to stretch the hips and the lower back though asanas (poses), without holding them for long periods. The use of props such as blankets, cushions and straps will help to support you and your bump safely as we practice yoga.
My online Pregnancy Yoga classes commence in February, beginning with a free taster session next Tuesday 2nd February 8-9pm via 'Zoom'.
This class is suitable for anyone who is 14 weeks or more into their pregnancy. No experience of yoga is needed at all- 60% of women who do pregnancy yoga are complete beginners. All you need is an hour, some space to move, a few cushions and a blanket.
Do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions about pregnancy yoga classes. I look forward to seeing you and your blossoming bump soon!
Department of Health. (2017) Physical activity for pregnant women. Available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/622335/CMO_physical_activity_pregnant_women_infographic.pdf
NHS Choices. (2017) Exercise in pregnancy. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pregnancy-exercise/
NICE. (2008) Antenatal care for uncomplicated pregnancies. Available from: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg62/evidence
RCOG. (2006) Recreational exercise and pregnancy: information for you. Available from: https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/patients/patient-information-leaflets/pregnancy/recreational-exercise-and-pregnancy.pdf