What are the Benefits of Yoga for Pregnancy?



When you get pregnant, people come out of the woodworks with advice, remedies and old wives tales. Everyone’s got an opinion on how you should spend your pregnancy. But the one thing we know for sure is, yoga is great for mom and baby alike. If you’re curious about prenatal yoga, you’re in the right place. Let’s break down why this type of yoga is excellent for moms (and babies).

What is prenatal yoga?

Prenatal yoga was designed for women who are expecting. Rather than taking a regular class and having to worry about modifications or safety, this class is specifically designed for pregnancy. The practice can help women with common pregnancy aches and pains, ease hormonal and emotional stress and help women’s bodies prepare for birth and their postpartum journey. A regular yoga practice when pregnant has tons of amazing benefits!

Benefits of Prenatal yoga: 

We asked women who’ve done prenatal yoga while pregnant for their reviews, one said “ It’s excellent for stress relief, pain relief, and preparation for labor.” And they all said they’d recommend it to friends! 

So let's break down the benefits: 

  • Relaxation : Pregnancy can be very stressful! But yoga will help you to relax physically, mentally and emotionally and create a safe, relaxing environment for birth. Prenatal helps you with coping and breath techniques for all stages of your pregnancy.
  • Preparation for birth : For first time moms, and even sometimes vets, labor can be scary. This practice will help you to learn birth techniques so you’re relaxed and ready to go!
  • Yoga can Help with Labor : In a 2015 study, It was found that a regular yoga practice in the last 10-12 weeks of pregnancy can improve the mother's comfort during labor and help facilitate the labor process. The “yoga group” in this study on average was in labor two hours less than those who didn’t practice. Past your due date? Prenatal Yoga is also known to help induce labor
  • Community : Yoga classes have always been known to help us build community but during pregnancy, it's so important to have a group of women who understand what you’re going through. Taking part in a prenatal class puts you in a group of women who get it. You’ll have a built in support system and maybe even first friends for your baby!

Frequently Asked Questions about Prenatal Yoga:

Is Yoga for Pregnancy safe?

Yes. Yoga is generally considered safe during pregnancy. However, you should always consult your doctor & make sure you’re practicing with a teacher who understands the prenatal experience and can keep you safe. Our teachers are experts in yoga and are ready to help you on your journey. If you’d like to check out our offerings, you can get started today with a two week free trial!

When during pregnancy can you practice yoga?

During your first trimester, you can stick to your regular practice with some modifications. 

Your second trimester is a GREAT time to start prenatal yoga! At this point, you’ll be starting to officially come into your “pregnancy body” and you’ll need to be practicing poses more specific to prenatal. The second and third trimester are considered the “prep period” for your body to prepare for labor. So it's a great time to keep moving and stretching in your new skin as you make room for the baby to grow! 

What yoga poses should you avoid doing? 

For the most part, yoga is considered safe during pregnancy. You really only need to focus on any poses that put pressure on your abdomen. You should avoid any and all twisting poses, backbends and inversions.. 

Yoga for Pregnancy Poses you can perform at Home :

It’s important to stay active during your pregnancy for both mom and baby! You should try to get in some sort of movement daily for at least 30 minutes. You can stick to low impact workouts or walks but if you want to do some yoga at home, it’s a great way to end your day. Yoga while pregnant can help with pain, help you sleep better and fight tiredness and fatigue.

Here are some poses you can practice at home to keep you moving! And as a bonus, most of these poses will also help your body prepare for giving birth!

1. Bound angle pose (Baddha Konasana) :

Bound angle pose (Baddha Konasana)

Baddha Konasana pose will help you open your hips, releasing any pain in your back. It can also help to reduce swelling

How it helps with labor: Opening the hips will help you to stretch the muscles needed to open the birth canal.

2. Cat-cow pose (Marjaryasana Bitilasana) :

Cat-cow pose (Marjaryasana Bitilasana)

Marjaryasana Bitilasana pose release back and shoulder pain and also reduce pressure from the belly

How it helps with labor: Back pain is a common occurrence during the birth process. This pose will help to keep your muscles limber and help to avoid muscle spasms and pain in your back during labor.

3. Yogi squat (Malasana) :

Yogi squat (Malasana)

Been sitting too long? This is a great hip opener and will also release lower back pain.

How it helps with labor: This pose will widen the pelvic floor making the birth easier,which may help to reduce injury during birth.

Remember, if you’re practicing at home, it’s always best to consult your doctor and make sure yoga is safe for your pregnancy.

Other ways to practice self-care during pregnancy

Being a mom is the hardest job in the world. And there are no days off. Starting with pregnancy, we feel out of control of our body, its growth and the way we feel. Remember to take time during this beautiful process to practice self-care so you can be present, happy and relaxed. 

  • Book a prenatal massage :

    A prenatal massage is GREAT for mom and baby. It can help reduce stress and swelling without meds, help you to sleep and get your body ready for labor and delivery. 
  • Take a bath :

    Taking a warm bath while pregnant can also help to reduce stress and lower your blood pressure. It’s a great way to relax and rest your growing body. If you’re feeling pain or swelling, it can be very beneficial to relax in a warm bath. 
  • Ayurveda for Pregnancy :

    This week, MyYogaTeacher has a special Ayurveda event running where you’ll learn how to align with your best self through nutrition and health changes. This specific class is designed to help you have your most healthy pregnancy with nutrition guidelines for a mom and foods to help with baby's development! 

You can also choose to work 1 on 1 with an instructor of your choice through your MyYogaTeacher membership! Let us help you have your healthiest pregnancy possible! 

Get started today!

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