I’m nearing the end of my second trimester, and what I can tell you is that even with minimal physical discomforts (so far, fingers crossed for the final stretch), this journey into motherhood isn’t easy. My body is working magic that I can’t even begin to understand in order to co-create a whole new human. This is all happening while it tries to keep me alive and well too!
Bliss, fear, awe, ease, sadness, overwhelm, wonder, excitement, exhaustion, gratitude… are all up for grabs at any given moment of my day. Yoga helps me ride the waves and try to accept my feelings as they come with minimal judgement. Even if I don’t practice on my yoga mat as much as I want to, I use the skills I learn daily. I’m sharing this list of prenatal yoga’s benefits to help spread awareness about this simple, affordable resource to support you or your loved-one through their unique journey.
When I was just a few weeks pregnant I began teaching a new series of MaterniTea: Yoga for Pregnancy at Spice Harmony Yoga. I actually told the women in the group I was pregnant on the very first day of class, weeks before making any public announcement. For me this was important because, for the first time, I was offering the class as a pregnant woman myself. I also wanted to demonstrate how much I trust in the confidentiality of the space and encourage the women to be open about the truth of their experiences. After all, there are no other resources like this for pregnant woman in Grenada so we have to make the most of it.
Besides the priceless benefits that come from being part of a supportive community there are many other benefits to prenatal yoga.
9 Benefits of Prenatal Yoga
Increase Confidence This can be a time when self-doubt can creep in… Is the baby ok? Am I doing this right? Can I really handle labour? Yoga and mindful breathing can help you to recognize, cope with and eventually quiet negative thoughts and boost your confidence in your mind and body’s ability.
Improve Sleep Gentle movement coupled with deep breathing can sooth your nervous system activating its parasympathetic mode aka “rest & digest”. When our bodies are in this mode we can relax, digest and detox more effective and we tend to sleep better.
Ease Common Pregnancy Discomforts With simple yoga poses that are safe to practice at home you can learn to ease discomforts such as back pain, nausea, heartburn, headaches, leg swelling and shortness of breath.
Increase Strength & Flexibility As your baby and uterus grow within our body, your spine has to stay strong and flexibility to support the added weight. Yoga poses help to prepare, stabilize and energize your whole body to support the growth process.
Make Space! Prenatal yoga is all about making space for baby to move and grow. Also it helps make space so that you feel like there is room for you in your body too.
Prepare Your Body for Labour Yoga can help open the muscles around the pelvis and bring space and elasticity to the back of the vaginal and cervical wall. You will also build your stamina and learn positions that can be useful during labor and pushing.
Learn How to Breathe Building a relationship to your breath is an important part of pregnancy and labour. Breathing techniques can be an effective pain management and coping tool. You are breathing for two now, so learn how to make every breath count (especially when it feels like you hardly have room left in your body for your lungs!)
‘Me Time’ Take a pause from your busy to-do list and take care of yourself and your growing baby. Through the practice of yoga, you are giving you both the gift of all the benefits listed above and so much more. You are worth it!
Grow Your Support System This cannot be stressed enough. Whether you or someone you know is having their first child or has been down this path before, having a strong support system is a major factor in maternal mental health.
Maternitea: Gentle Prenatal Yoga Tuesdays 5pm at Spice Harmony Yoga
Try a class or share this with a pregnant loved-one
(why not gift them a class because they are growing a new human for your family after all!)