A typical prenatal yoga class usually involves:
1. Breathing In and Out
As an expecting mother, you will be taught how to focus on your breathing patterns, slowly breathing in & out and also breathing deeply through the nose. The breathing techniques will help you to manage breath shortness during your pregnancy and also during labor contractions.
You are encouraged to stretch gently while moving different body parts e.g. the neck, arms and limbs .
There are various yoga asanas for pregnant women. You can do a posture while standing, sitting or lying down while moving your body in different positions. The postures aim to help you develop strength, balance and flexibility. Some of the poses are:
• Baddha Konasana
• Supported Matsyasana etc.
Note that you can use belts, cushions or blankets for more support & comfort.
After completing a yoga class, it is necessary that you relax your muscles & restore your breathing rhythm as well as the resting heart rate. You are encouraged to pay attention to your breathing patterns, body sensations and emotions in order to bring out inner calmness and self-awareness.
Just like other pregnancy classes, yoga for expectant women is a multi-faceted exercise that is conducted to encourage focused breathing, mental and physical awareness. Some of its benefits include:
• Improved sleep
• Reduced stress & anxiety
• It reduces the risk of a pre-term labor.
• Helps you to connect more with the baby.
• It Increases the strength, endurance and flexibility of pelvic floor muscles needed during childbirth
• It reduces headaches, breath shortness, lower back pain, symptoms of carpal-tunnel syndrome and nausea.
• Gives you a sense of sisterhood while interacting with other women who are also expecting.
As an expectant woman, it is important to moderate your yoga exercise to about half an hour . Do not push yourself because yoga is meant for relaxation purposes.
Although yoga has a lot of benefits , note that it is not safe for all pregnant women. Also an asana such as bikram and some other asanas that require environments with above room temperatures can lead to hyperthermia which is very dangerous.
Once you have given birth, the yoga burn review has suggestions for a program you can follow for post pregnancy yoga to help shed the excess pregnancy fat.