Thoughts on prenatal Yoga

This is an interview with Jennifer, who started taking classes at the beginning of her third trimester and really loved the experience. I thought it would be interesting to hear about her experience with prenatal yoga and why she loved it so much! 
What made you start pre-natal yoga?
I read an article that said a study had found that women who exercised during pregnancy had generally “easier” labours, in that they did not report having as much pain as those who had not exercised.  Yoga was a recommended form of training as well as water aerobics so I tried both.
Had you been doing yoga before?
Did you feel yoga helped you to alleviate some body pains during your pregnancy (if you had any)?
No, yoga didn’t alleviate any body pains but it certainly helped me mentally and helped me with my energy level.  I felt very drained from pregnancy but I always felt refreshed and energized after yoga.  The yoga I practiced was Kundalini yoga, adapted for pregnancy so there was a lot of mental strength exercises, focusing on will-power and using different breathing techniques to get through a challenging exercise.
Where you doing any other kind of exercice?
I tried water aerobics a bit but didn’t continue because I felt the yoga gave me more.
Did you feel yoga helped you to connect to your baby?
Yes and no. Yes because at the time, I felt that I was giving my baby positive energy and we frequently took extra breaths for our babies’ sakes, but after birth, I struggled quite a bit to connect with my baby anyway.
Would you recommend pre-natal yoga to your friends and why?
I would recommend pre-natal yoga to anyone who wants to train their mind as well as their body leading up to delivery.  There was a lot of focus on female inner-strength and it helped me adjust more easily to my changing body.  It was easy for me to focus on the restrictions and short-comings of my pregnant body (what I shouldn’t eat, what I shouldn’t lift, inability to sleep, etc.) so it was nice to be in an environment that celebrated the pregnant body and left me feeling like I had a lot of strength, actually.  But most importantly, I spent a lot of time training my breathing and focusing my thoughts which really helped me handle the pain of labour and have a good mind-set for delivery.  One thing I really took from the class was the idea that my body was going to get me through delivery and that it was my job to let it do its job, so I needed to be open to how my body would get things done.
What would you say was the best about your yoga teacher?
She was so genuinely caring and instilled the belief in us that we knew what was best for ourselves and welcomed us to do just so.  She reminded us a lot of how good we were, that we were taking care of ourselves, and our babies.
Kali – Prenatal/Postnatal Yoga Teacher Training – June 2015 

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