Even if you’ve never tried it before, yoga for pregnancy can support you in your physical and emotional journey toward motherhood. A gentle, mindful yoga practice can boost your mental and physical stamina by toning your muscles, strengthening your pelvic floor, and teaching you to observe and control your breath.
As added bonuses, a regular yoga practice throughout pregnancy can ease discomfort during delivery, and speed up postpartum recovery.
Yoga for pregnancy: physical benefits
A woman’s body goes through many changes over the nine-month pregnancy period. As the belly grows, the centre-of-gravity shifts, forcing the body to compensate by changing its posture. The muscles, bones and joints — including the feet — take on more weight than usual, causing aches, pains, and other uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms.
As yoga realigns the body while strengthening and stretching the muscles, pregnant women enjoy a reduction — and sometimes a complete elimination — of lower back pain, acid reflux, headaches, nausea, carpal tunnel syndrome, and shortness of breath. Importantly, yoga for pregnancy can strengthen the pelvic floor. The pelvic floor is a hammock-like muscle attached to the pelvis, which is under increased stress during pregnancy. A strong pelvic floor can help a woman carry her baby more comfortably, ease the delivery process, and speed up post-natal recovery.
Yoga for pregnancy: mental and emotional benefits
Anyone who has committed to a regular yoga practice will tell you that the benefits extend far beyond the physical. Yoga creates a sense of calmness and centredness, while teaching us to be self-aware and in control of our both our mind and body.
The mental and emotional benefits of yoga for pregnancy can help minimise any stress or anxiety you may be feeling in the lead up to delivery. What’s more, yoga gives expectant mothers time to care for, nourish, and express gratitude for their incredible bodies, while connecting more deeply to the baby within. Yoga offers the peace of mind you need to be present throughout the entire process, and to be content diving head-first into the unknown.
Lastly, practicing yoga can help improve sleep, which is vital during this very important — and often exhausting — time of life.
How yoga can help during child birth
Breath practice, known as pranayama, is at the core of all yoga. Through yoga and meditation, we learn to observe and control the breath, making it slower, deeper, and intentional. This practice helps reduce stress and anxiety, which are feelings many women experience as their pregnancy comes to an end.
When we panic, we tend to tense up. When we panic during labour, this tightening can make the experience even more difficult. Deep breathing can help women stay calm and present throughout the delivery, while releasing endorphins that reduce pain and help labour progress.
Do keep in mind, however, that breath retention is not safe during pregnancy.
Practice yoga for pregnancy at Zama Yoga
As women develop a closer connection to themselves through their yoga practice, they learn to trust and listen to their bodies. We are so accustomed to living from the neck up, and pregnancy and birth happens from the neck down. Yoga can help you tune into your intuition, and surrender to the birthing process.
Remember to always consult a doctor before starting a new exercise while pregnant.
Depending on the advice from your doctor, you can attend the following classes at Zama Yoga:
- Yoga in Brisbane: Yin, VinYin, Warm Slow Flow, non-heated Hatha, Barre and Pilates.
- Yoga in Toowoomba: Prenatal Yoga, Yin, VinYin, non-heated Hatha, Baree and Pilates.
Learn more about our yoga classes.