Moderate exercise during pregnancy can offer lots of benefits. According to the NHS, keeping active and fit during pregnancy can help you with weight gain, adapting to your changing shape, coping with labour and regaining your fitness after the baby is born.
Yoga is the ideal form of exercise during pregnancy. It’s not too strenuous and can help you to relax as well as staying fit and building core strength. Here are just a handful of the main benefits of prenatal yoga, according to advice from Mayo Clinic:
Yoga reduces stress and anxiety
The calmer you can be during pregnancy, the better it is for both yours and the baby’s health. Yoga helps you to take some time out for yourself, teaching you techniques to calm your anxieties, clear your mind and soothe yourself.
Yoga reduces back pain
Prenatal yoga is all geared towards alleviating the aches and pains pregnant women experience, including back pain. By building core strength in your abdominals, you can take some of the pressure off your back as your baby grows. Pregnancy yoga can also help to reduce other unwanted side effects, such as nausea and headaches.
You meet other women preparing to become a new parent
A prenatal yoga class can be a supportive and bonding experience, helping you to discuss and share fears and worries, pass on advice and simply offload. Together, you’ll strengthen your bodies while hopefully alleviating any stress about becoming a new parent.
Yoga improves your sleep
Pregnant women often have trouble sleeping, but yoga can help. When you learn how to relax and self-soothe using yoga techniques, you’ll find that you’re more comfortable in bed and find it easier to sleep for longer.
Yoga teaches you breathing techniques
The breathing exercises you practice during prenatal yoga sessions can be hugely helpful during the birth of your baby, teaching you how to manage shortness of breath and work through contractions by focusing on your breath.
Why it’s recommended to go to a specialist pregnancy yoga class
There are lots of yoga classes to choose from, but one specially designed for pregnant women is recommended. This is because it will focus on areas of the body and exercises that help to ease discomfort and pain that pregnant women tend to experience, particularly as their bump gets bigger.
A trained pregnancy yoga instructor will also know exactly how to lead the session safely, taking everyone’s needs into account. They will lead you through gentle stretching and yoga postures to help you develop strength and flexibility, choosing yoga poses designed to be safe and comfortable for pregnant women. You’ll be encouraged to listen to your body, cooling down and relaxing at the end of each session by settling into a calm breathing rhythm.
Want to give pregnancy yoga a try? You can sign up for a 6 week pre-natal course at Sweat Studios, or pay session by session to see how you like it – click here to book.