Yoga is the perfect exercise for expectant mums. Yoga helps keep you fit, strong and flexible, while the gentle, low impact moves avoid over stressing your body. Practising yoga during pregnancy helps keep you relaxed, improves your breathing and posture. It helps prevent backache and encourages your baby into the best position for birth.
Women who practise yoga during pregnancy say that their labour is shorter, easier and less painful. Not only is their body better prepared for labour but they are more relaxed and mentally prepared.
For pregnancy and childbirth, practising yoga is particularly helpful for improving your breathing, relaxation and inner awareness of your body. It also helps to improve your posture, which in turn helps prevent backaches and encourages your baby to go into the best position to give birth.
Antenatal yoga is an especially gentle form of practice, designed to suit the particular requirements of your body. There is a special emphasis on breathing and relaxation techniques.
Classes are suitable from 15 weeks pregnant until birth. Janis is a fully qualified yoga teacher who has undergone specialised training in yoga for pregnancy.
What to Expect From the Class
No previous yoga experience is required. During the class we do lots of stretching and opening postures that help backache and other discomforts of pregnancy. We’ll also cover various breathing techniques (for pregnancy and labour) and guided relaxations. Plus we’ll work on strengthening the body, particularly the lower body, as it’s very beneficial in labour.
Benefits of Pregnancy Yoga
- Boosts energy
- Keeps the body supple and strong without straining
- Opportunity to explore helpful positions for labour
- Relieve stress and anxiety
- Relaxes and promotes restful sleep
- Increased flexible, which enables you to adapt to various positions when in labour
- Boosts circulation, which helps with fluid retention
- Strengthens the pelvic floor
- Can help relieve pain in labour and childbirth
- Helps relieve common, minor ailments of pregnancy (e.g. swollen joints, heartburn, backache)
What to bring
Following the pointers below will help you get the most from the class.
- Bring a mat – a yoga mat is best but an exercise mat will be fine. If you don’t have a mat you can borrow one for the first few classes.
- Wear comfortable clothing that allows you to move freely
- Bring a blanket
- Bring a jumper/fleece for the relaxation session at the end
- Avoid eating for at least two hours before the class. It’s fine to have something light like a piece of fruit, yogurt or a smoothie about half an hour before the class.