PRENATAL YOGA: FOR A HEALTHY AND RELAXED PREGNANCY
Prenatal yoga is that perfect bubble in which you can take care of yourself while pregnant. You will gently exercise, meditate, relax and, last but not least, connect with your baby.
A typical prenatal yoga session would be a mix of:
- Breathing exercises: You'll try to focus on breathing in and out slowly and deeply through the nose, paying close attention to your posture and to the messages your body is sending you (yes, we tend to not listen enough)
- Stretching: You'll be encouraged to mindfully and gently move different parts of your body, such as your neck and arms, through their full range of motion.
- Yoga postures: Similar to regular yoga sessions you will try to perform several postures such as downward facing dog, tree pose and more. Depending on your trimester the difficulty level of the pauses will obviously vary but the goal remains to develop your strength, flexibility and balance.
- Chanting: This is pretty particular to prenatal yoga as when a pregnant mother chants in a yoga class, the baby both hears her voice and feels the calming energy created by the vocalization and internal vibration effect (the famous “om in the womb”). Chanting can be used as a strong resource for relaxing and connecting with your baby.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
On top of staying active and feeling great about it, prenatal yoga helps with the most common pregnancy discomforts such as heartburn, sleep issues, blood pressure and stress. The deep breathing associated with Yoga is a great way to restart your nervous system and to boost your blood circulation. And if that is good for you, it is also good for Baby! On top of that, Yoga postures Increase the strength, flexibility and endurance of muscles needed for childbirth… and after - we look at you, pelvic floor. 😉
Sometimes pregnancy can feel a bit lonely as your partner may not understand fully what is going on in your body (to be honest, you might not understand it yourself!). Prenatal Yoga gives you a wonderful opportunity to meet other moms-to-be, get the best tips from them and/or from experienced doulas that might be taking the class or even teaching it. A prenatal Yoga studio is truly a place full of love and support for future moms.
CAN I DO PRENATAL YOGA, EVEN IF I NEVER DID YOGA BEFORE?
Of course. As long as you get the green light from your OBGYN, prenatal yoga is highly recommended for any pregnant woman. Just make sure you do go to actual prenatal yoga and avoid regular yoga classes or vinyasa (hot) yoga which might be too intense and are not recommended when pregnant.
Our personal advice would be to wait for the beginning of the second trimester to start prenatal yoga when early pregnancy discomforts such as dizziness or nauseas are gone. If you are lucky enough to not have any first trimester issue, then feel free to start as soon as you wish.
If at any point during a class you are not feeling well, simply stop what you are doing, seat, take a deep breath and do not hesitate to share with your instructor. Make sure you remain hydrated and pace yourself. You are here to listen to your body, to be taken care of, to relax and to connect with your baby. Don't push yourself too hard!
WHY IS PRENATAL YOGA A MUST ACCORDING TO US?
Prenatal yoga has been a must during our second pregnancy. Expecting twins while having to take care of a toddler, working hard in busy NYC and being 4000 miles away from family was a powerful anxiety combo we needed to address and tackle.
Prenatal yoga was truly a unique experience that allowed us to hit the pause button when needed and to focus on the two things that matter the most during pregnancy: taking care of your health and connecting with your baby. In our case, we felt that the sessions had a positive lasting effect on us and we would feel good and calm for several days afterward.
Additionally, during yoga sessions we took in Harlem Yoga Center, we got to meet a beautiful community of incredible mothers and professionals here to help you, to guide you, and to share their pregnancy journeys. A great way to connect with future mothers from your neighborhood and potentially future friends for your baby!
Prenatal yoga brings consciousness and mindfulness to your day to day and helps you feel good inside out. We cannot recommend it enough!