The Benefits of Yoga during Pregnancy

I wanted to chat with you guys about yoga and how amazing it is for your mind and body in general, let alone while you’re pregnant. I started practicing yoga in high school and did it pretty consistently until college. During college I had convinced myself I was “too busy” and didn’t have time, when in reality I simply wasn’t making it a priority. I picked it back up again about four years ago when my sweet husband bought me a package at a local yoga studio. Since then, yoga has seriously kept me sane. It’s my “me time”, an hour where I focus on breathing, moving my body and relaxing my non-stop mind.

This fall, my sciatic nerve started acting up and was SUPER painful, so I stopped going to class like I normally do because I was afraid of injuring myself more. I thought taking a break from from working out and yoga would help it feel better, turns out it did the opposite - it made it worse. Sooo I started going back to yoga (and getting acupuncture done) and BOOM, it started getting better. I was bummed when I had to stop going to hot yoga classes due to this little babe growing inside of me. BUT I’ve learned that yoga is not just about sweating or getting a good workout. It’s about making time for myself and the journey of learning all about this changing body of mine. Let’s dive into why you should consider adding yoga to your routine!

Benefits

  • helps de-stress the body and mind by allowing you to focus on your breathing (which is even more important during pregnancy because baby can feel everything the birthing person experiences)

  • focuses on strengthening the pelvic floor which is important before, during and after pregnancy (it can be weakened by pregnancy and childbirth)

  • the modified poses increase strength, flexibility, balance and endurance (which will help during pregnancy and labor!)

  • helps you become more in touch with your body (and baby!) by focusing on the breathing, thoughts, feelings, emotions and sensations that you may feel during your practice

  • prenatal yoga is specifically designed to help you work through the changes your body is experiencing during pregnancy

  • it is a great form of self-care, time just for you

  • decreases lower back pain and improves sleep

  • provides you with breathing techniques that can help you work through contractions or pushing during labor

  • is a safe and gentle exercise option during pregnancy

  • offers gentle stretching to multiple areas of your body

  • studies have found that expectant people who practiced yoga consistently during their pregnancy were more likely to have a healthy baby

  • provides you with a sense of community by allowing you to meet and connect with other people

Keep In Mind

  • always talk to your healthcare provider before attending prenatal yoga to ensure that it is safe for YOU to practice yoga while pregnant. Everyone’s bodies are different.

  • make sure your yoga teacher is certified in prenatal yoga

  • Hot yoga is not recommended during pregnancy, as you don’t want to raise your internal body temperature (it can negatively impact the baby)

  • prenatal yoga and restorative yoga are your best options during pregnancy

  • as always, make sure to LISTEN to your body and how it feels - don’t push yourself too hard. Simply do whatever feels best for you

  • any poses that require you to lie flat on your back or stomach or require a lot of stretching aren’t recommended during pregnancy (there are always modifications you can do instead!)

  • use blocks and props to assist with poses