An Intro to Prenatal Yoga
If you’re pregnant, maintaining a consistent exercise routine is one of the best things you can do for you and your baby’s health! In other words, exercise is so beneficial that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) encourages all women with uncomplicated pregnancies to do at least 150 minutes of moderately intense aerobic exercise per week, in addition to twice-weekly strength training sessions.
Here’s something else experts recommend: prenatal yoga.
Whether you’ve been exercising for years or are starting a new habit now that you’re expecting, prenatal yoga is the perfect addition to your weekly routine. Thanks to its impressive list of well-documented benefits. Let’s check them out.
5 Benefits of Prenatal Yoga
Prenatal yoga is a restorative style of yoga focusing on stretching, breathing, postures, and movements designed with the pregnant body in mind. Meaning that, this form of yoga has movements that have been modified to accommodate for the common changes that occur during pregnancy.
Moreover, this form of yoga is considered safe and beneficial for pregnant women and their babies, according to organizations like ACOG, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and Mayo Clinic, to name a few. Here are five reasons to add this form of yoga to your #momlife:
1. Easing common aches and pains associated with pregnancy.
Pregnant and postpartum women often experience nausea, pain in their lower back, and headaches. Fortunately, prenatal yoga is a drug-free and non-invasive way to ease all these issues and more.
2. Relaxes the mind and improves mental health.
Studies have shown that this gentle form of yoga reduces maternal anxiety and depression and eases stress. It can even enhance sleep, which has a huge impact on mood and brain function.
3. Prepares your body for childbirth (and beyond).
The movements and postures used in prenatal yoga increase strength, stamina, and flexibility. In short, it helps moms handle the physical demands of labor and can make it easier to recover during the postpartum period. Last, it teaches poses and breathing techniques that can be used to assist with labor.
One systematic review of six randomized controlled trials found that prenatal yoga may even reduce labor duration! Moreover, a 2018 randomized controlled trial published in Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that women participating in prenatal yoga were less likely to have a cesarean section and greater pain tolerance compared to the non-yoga control group.
4. The health benefits can extend to your baby.
I am always excited by research that shows how taking care of yourself helps you take care of others, too. For instance, prenatal yoga has been proven to reduce the risk of preterm birth and improve infant birth weight.
5. Get an all-natural pregnancy glow.
You always hear about that elusive pregnancy glow that many mothers attribute to the glistening sweat that comes with all of that morning sickness. But, what if your pregnancy glow came from all of the energy and peace you had during pregnancy, instead? Prenatal yoga provides you with the unique opportunity to bring your mind, body, and spirit together in one beautiful experience. Subsequently, it allows you to safely get to know your body and explore the limits of your mind.
I am sure that you will begin to glow when you fall in love with the experience of pregnancy.
New at PhysioFit: Prenatal Yoga Led by Alexis
A mom herself, Alexis has experienced firsthand the benefits of prenatal yoga. She brings her in-depth training in yoga along with years of Pilates, GYROTONIC®, and GYROKINESIS® teaching experience. She has quite the skillset to help pregnant and postpartum women feel healthier, physically and mentally.
“With prenatal yoga,” Alexis says, “you can focus on things you can do, that is beneficial, rather than avoid things you cannot do.” Talk about empowering!
Are you a mom-to-be? Call PhysioFit Physical Therapy & Wellness to learn more about our prenatal yoga sessions. Taking care of your prenatal and postpartum needs will help you and your baby feel your best!
Get your copy of Everything You Need to Know About Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy today!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kim Gladfelter, MPT, OCS, FAAOMPT
Women's Health Physical Therapy Specialist at PhysioFit Physical Therapy & Wellness
Kim Gladfelter is a physical therapist, Pilates instructor, educator, author, and co-founder of PhysioFit Physical Therapy & Wellness. She is known as a keen, well-rounded expert of healing through movement and women’s health specialist in the Silicon Valley area.
Kim has helped men and women of all ages to stay active and feel their best. She also writes about managing pain in her health columns, blogs and the local Los Altos Town Crier newspaper as well as reaches out to the local community, support groups, schools, libraries, and sports centers to advise and educate on body awareness and therapeutic exercise.