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Prenatal Yoga

What are the benefits of prenatal yoga?
prenatal yoga
Prenatal yoga instructor Emma Parker

What are the benefits of prenatal yoga?

Many of the mothers we send birth pools to are either curious about prenatal yoga or have tried it. In the majority of uncomplicated pregnancies, yoga is safe and very beneficial!

How do we know this? Well, scientific evidence and the experience of birthing women around the world tell us!

In this post, she’ll share about the benefits of pregnancy yoga and what yoga during pregnancy might actually look like.

Benefits of prenatal yoga.

Overall, women practicing pregnancy yoga gain:
Relief from aches and pains
Relaxation and calm
Greater connection with their babies and themselves
Increased physical and mental stamina
Tools and techniques for labour and birth

Prenatal yoga is a holistic approach to maintaining your overall physical, emotional, and spiritual health during pregnancy. We know from evidence-based research that movement and low impact fitness during pregnancy leads to healthier pregnancies and better birth experiences and outcomes.

So what makes prenatal yoga different from other movement, exercise, and fitness?

Yoga is more than exercise. Sure, it includes movement and postures… but it also is rich with philosophy about conscious living, techniques for relaxation, and is founded on self-enquiry and self-knowledge.

Prenatal yoga is for you if:

You want to feel more at home in your changing body.
You need relief from aches and discomforts.
You aren’t sure what movement and exercise is suitable and safe.
You crave relaxation.
You desire to connect with your growing baby.
You are ready to discover the power and magic of your body.
You are curious about yoga techniques for labor and birth.
You want to set aside time to reflect on your pregnancy.
You are working towards an empowered birth of your choosing.
You are committed to caring for yourself.

It’s best if you can find a pregnancy specific yoga class or program, either online or in-person. If you’re looking for something online, check out Emma’s self-paced yoga immersion for pregnant women: the Foundations of Pregnancy Yoga (www.shineshakti.com/foundations). While general yoga classes can be adapted for pregnancy, not all yoga teachers are skilled at guiding pregnant bodies – so it’s best to start under the guidance of someone specialized.

Additionally, keep in mind that you get to make the yoga practice your own. A skilled teacher will not only show you movement and postures, but will teach you how to listen to your body and how to adapt poses to best suit your unique body and pregnancy experience.

It’s also normal for a pregnancy yoga practice to evolve throughout pregnancy. For example: yoga during pregnancy might look like relaxation and rest during the first trimester, gentle yoga flows during the second trimester, and then practicing breathing techniques for labour during the third trimester.

You get to choose! You are in charge of your body. Just like you are in charge of your birth experience.

Birth Afloat team member Emma is also a yoga teacher specialising in pregnancy yoga at
Shine Shakti www.shineshakti.com.