It's no secret that yoga is a safe and effective way to exercise during pregnancy. When paired with cardiovascular exercise such as walking or swimming, yoga can be the ideal way to stay in shape. Yoga keeps you limber and improves balance and circulation. The benefits of yoga are not just physical. Yoga is a practice that focuses on the breath. Turning in, focusing and grounding yourself in your daily yoga practice prepares you to do just that during labor, birth and motherhood.
Taking a breath in and out rythmically in equal parts helps to relax you. When we are in pain or afraid our bodies produce adrenaline that can slow labor and even stall it. If we are able to focus on breathing in for 4 counts and out for 4 counts we stay relaxed and our bodies produce oxytocin, a hormone that makes labor progress. Yoga is proven to slow heart and breathing rates as well as lower blood pressure.
When I teach clients prenatal yoga I also point out some of the flowing postures we do that are good to use while moving through a "surge" or contraction. A simple cat/cow can relieve back labor and the movement keeps you focus on your breath, breathing in for cat and out for cow. Relaxin is a hormone that loosens the ligaments and relaxes the pelvic floor and pubic symphisis in preprartion for child birth. Relaxin is present throughout pregnancy. I like to have clients visualize the relaxin working through their body during our practice. This is a useful tool to use during labor. Drawing their attention to the parts of the body that need to open and make space for baby to arrive earth side helps mom move through her labor without fear.
Tips for finding the right yoga class for you:
Look for an instructor trained in prenatal yoga, if thats not possible make sure your instructor knows you are expecting. If you are yoga pro recognize that you will need to make some modifications as your baby grows. Don't go to class on an empty stomach and remember to stay properly hydrated. Not into group fitness, Bosom Buddy will come to your home and practice with you there. Contact us today to set up a class - Namaste