IMG_8495Prenatal Yoga as a Pathway to Healthy Pregnancy

There are so many benefits of practicing prenatal yoga during pregnancy. Prenatal yoga class attendees can expect to slow down, practice self-acceptance, and be present with what they’re feeling while letting go of concerns. Prenatal yoga is generally considered a safe exercise to do while pregnant and studies show consistent benefits. Women often report a decrease in common side effects of pregnancy such as: back and hip pain, fatigue, swelling, and stress. Prenatal yoga can be beneficial to improve sleep and as preparation for childbirth, particularly with breathing techniques. A woman who has practiced focusing on her breath can use this technique during labor, birth and motherhood.

Prenatal yoga classes provide support and community for mamas to be. Moms can get answers to many of their questions and share ideas and experiences within a safe environment. I’ve observed that many women who have come to my prenatal yoga classes become friends and created a support network for each other both during and after their pregnancy, meeting for tea, walks or setting up play groups.

Qualities of a good prenatal class include some education and discussion on pregnancy as well as offering a balanced yoga sequence with mindfulness to a women’s changing body. Challenging poses are a great help for mental focus and finding a place of power, both of which become a tremendous tool for managing contractions during labor. Conversely, the passive poses allow women to learn how to relax, focus inward and surrender to the natural process of birth. Through prenatal yoga a woman becomes more deeply connected to her body and her growing baby. Prenatal yoga can positively impact a woman’s experience of pregnancy and birth.

Nurse turned yoga teacher Sandi Hoover, BSN, RYT 500, RPYT, is a mother of three. She specializes in pre and postnatal yoga and owns The Family Tree Yoga and Massage with her husband, Zachary Hoover. She is the creator of Roots Prenatal Yoga and offers classes, workshops and teacher trainings through her Registered Prenatal Yoga School.