Yoga is known around the world for being a stress-reducing form of exercise. The various postures stretch and strengthen your body while the focus on breathing helps you relax. And if you’re an expecting mum, a prenatal yoga practice will not only contribute to a healthier pregnancy but also help you prepare for labour and motherhood.

There are many benefits in taking a prenatal yoga class for both you and baby. Here are just a few:

1. It will help you de-stress

People always walk into their first yoga class talking about how flexible they are – or aren’t. But that’s not what yoga is about. Yoga is about joining movement with your breath. And that focus on breathing, in particular, can help mums-to-be decompress.

After a long day or week, there’s nothing better than turning off your cell phone and taking an hour of dedicated “me time” to unwind. During pregnancy the relaxation of yoga helps us take care of ourselves, which is the number one way to lower your stress levels.

2. It can keep Mum & Baby Healthy

As your pregnancy progresses, it can be difficult to be comfortable. The baby may be pressing up against your lungs making breathing more difficult, you might be experiencing back pain, and getting comfortable enough to sleep can be tough. All of these ailments can be reduced by practicing yoga. A good night’s sleep will help you stay healthy and help lower your blood pressure will in turn help your baby.

Yoga also improves your circulation, which is important because you’re sharing your blood circulation with your baby.

3. It can help you prepare for labour.

Labour is one of the most physical things you’ll ever do. You wouldn’t run a marathon without training… why would you go into labour without preparing for it?

Prenatal yoga is made up of postures that are chosen specifically to help prepare the pelvic muscles, hips and legs for childbirth. Squats, for example, can open the pelvic muscles as much as 25%.

Building strength and stamina and learning to focus on long deep breathing will help you in labour both physically and mentally.

4. It can keep you in shape

In any yoga class you will build strength and flexibility and burn calories each time you practice. Some classes will be slower and more meditative, while others will be more vigorous to build heat and strength within the body. Either way you will be using your own bodyweight to move through the poses, and that will help to keep you in shape.

5. It will build your mind-body awareness

Practicing prenatal yoga will help you take time to focus on what you and your body needs- as well as what your baby needs. As you move through the poses you’ll gain a greater awareness of your breath, and how to use it during labour to calm yourself. The relaxations at the start and end of class will help you process emotions from the increased hormonal activity coursing through your body.

Most importantly, Prenatal Yoga classes help you connect with your unborn child. The baby can feel when we’re happy, relaxed, and really taking care of ourselves. So by turning our attention to ourselves, we’re giving the baby a healing experience too.

SensoBaby Prenatal Yoga classes provide you with a safe and supportive environment to prepare, through yoga and breath techniques, for birth and motherhood. And it’s a great place for you to connect with other new mums-to-be.

Join Jennifer for Prenatal Yoga at SensoBaby on Thursday evenings from 5:15 – 6:15. P75 (punch cards available).

Jennifer Fuller

Jennifer is SensoBaby's Head Impressionist. She's a mother by day and a writer by night, marketing professional, certified yoga teacher, and mum of 2 girls both born in Botswana. Jennifer is grateful for the support, friendship, and community for new mothers that she's found through her involvement with SensoBaby.

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