My first yoga journey started when I was pregnant. I wanted to stay fit while pregnant and make new friends. I made good mommy friends through my yoga studio. And prenatal yoga also helped me a lot physically and emotionally. Overall, both of my pregnancies were very smooth, and I had very smooth labour and deliveries as well.
So, I want to share some of prenatal yoga’s benefits based on my experience.
- Improved blood circulation & sleep quality
- When you are pregnant, it is difficult to fall asleep. This can be because of your emotional stress or hormone changes. However, in my case it was because of bad blood circulation. Many women complain about their swollen legs during pregnancy. And in my case it was due to varicose veins on my legs. During my second pregnancy, my legs were easily tired and swollen. Often, I couldn’t sleep because my legs were in pain. Varicose veins are often due to incompetent valves in the veins which allow the blood to pool and stretch out the veins below. Practicing yoga improved my blood circulation and helped to relieve my varicose vein problems.
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- By focusing on breathing in and out slowly and deeply, yoga breathing techniques can help lower your stress level. Practicing asana and meditation can also help relax your body and reduce anxiety.
- Increased strength and flexibility
- During nine months of pregnancy our body transforms significantly. Your pelvic muscles and leg muscles must be strong so you can bear the weight of a growing baby and a long labour and delivery. Prenatal yoga can strengthen your pelvic muscles and the muscle groups that support it, which includes the deep hip muscles, adductor muscles, gluteal muscles, lower abdominal muscles.
There are many more benefits to doing prenatal yoga. However, you should consult with you OBGYN first to advise you on the safety of doing prenatal yoga given your individual circumstances. Also note that there are some yoga poses that should be avoided if you are pregnant. So do inform your yoga instructor of your pregnancy before the class starts, so that they can provide alternative poses that are safe for you. Even better, you can join a dedicated prenatal yoga class which caters specifically to the needs of expectant mothers.