Have you tried prenatal yoga? Here’s what I know about it.
Prenatal yoga is awesome preparation for birth. Not just because of the toning and conditioning and not just because of the mind-body connection. In yoga we’re taught to stay calm and breathe steadily while we work hard and feel uncomfortable. Does that sound familiar? It sounds like BIRTH! When we stay in a challenging pose for a couple minutes, we have to focus on our breath and engage our entire bodies. We have to work with the discomfort, not against it. We direct our energy and our love to where we need it the most. When we come out of the pose, we rest and breathe. These are great skills to take with you into your birth and they will absolutely help you to cope with your contractions. You can do anything for one minute! Take that attitude into your birth and you will labour like a warrior.
Yoga is a celebration of what your body can do. You’re there because your body can make a baby. When you’re there, you get to see and feel the things you CAN do with your pregnant body. You might surprise yourself with your strength and stamina! It’s a great confidence builder and a priceless opportunity to give yourself some love.
Yoga accommodates you. Some days, you’ll be struggling with aches or pains or fatigue or stress. Go to class anyway. Your teacher is trained to recommend modifications and your fellow classmates will empathize with you. Even when you tell yourself to practice the poses and movements every day between your weekly classes, sometimes the couch will keep calling your name. It’s okay. Pregnancy is a great opportunity to perfect your savasana (relaxing with attention; it’s harder than it seems!).
Nobody will bat an eyelash if you let out a fart. Or if you grunt aggressively when you attempt to get up from a floor pose (or a squat, or even while you roll up your mat after class). At prenatal yoga, you’re among peers and you can be your gassy, grunty pregnant self without reservation.
Without even speaking, you’ll feel a deep connection to the other women in the room. The shared experience of pregnancy is a a beautiful and special thing. You’re supporting each other just by being in the same space, moving together. You’ll also have the opportunity to chat before or after class. Yoga is a great place to meet mom friends! Exchange numbers and you just might find someone to share your journey with from pregnancy to motherhood and beyond.