Being pregnant is a wonderful time of change for mummies to be and their loved ones. It’s also the perfect time to get in touch with your body and what better way to do that than come to one of our Pregnancy yoga classes in Ashton and Oldham.
Our classes are a great and, crucially, safe way to tune into your body and its new needs. They can also help you stay fit whilst pregnant and alleviate some of the unpleasant aches and pains you may be experiencing as a mum to be.
In this blog we will try to answer some of the questions you may have about Pregnancy Yoga and talk about the benefits from that type of exercise.
What is Pregnancy Yoga?
Our Pregnancy yoga sessions are yoga classes which use gentle movements, positions and breathing techniques to stretch, strengthen and help align your body. Yoga is an increasingly popular form of exercise and it’s recommended even by the NHS. There is a lot of research that shows yoga can be very beneficial for your health at any age and can be enjoyed by mummies and babies, mummies-to-be, kids or even elderly people.
The difference between a normal yoga session you may attend at your local gym, and our yoga classes is that all the positions and techniques that we teach are specifically with pregnancy in mind. The exercises we use are carefully selected to be suitable for the different stages of pregnancy and we make sure that you aren’t doing anything that is dangerous for you or your baby. Additionally, before we start the classes, we send all our mummies to be a form to fill in to tell us a bit more about their pregnancy and any specific condition they may have (or other issues they are experiencing) so that we can tailor our class to better suit your needs and safety.
What are the benefits of Pregnancy Yoga?
One of the best things about yoga is the calming effect it has on you. Yoga promotes relaxation and provides a space for you to slow down, take a deep breath and disconnect from your daily routine. This is done through slow deliberate movements of the body and special breathing techniques.
Yoga can help you reduce stress, lower your blood pressure and your heart rate. The various relaxation techniques encourage you to be aware of the present moment and be more mindful. And of course, all of this can be used outside yoga classes, to help you manage stress and anxiety.
Yoga, when done safely, can be a great way to keep fit and active during your pregnancy. Yoga positions and stretches are an excellent form of exercise which increases both your flexibility and muscle strength. This of course is something that is good for anyone at any age, but for mummies to be it’s especially important to keep muscles active as this can make your pregnancy much more comfortable.
3. Pelvic floor
Even though we could have included this section in the above point about general exercise of your muscles, we believe that special attention should be paid to the pelvic floor. The pelvic floor is the muscles that support the reproductive organs and baby during pregnancy. Due to the increased strain on it, often during pregnancy it can weaken. This becomes a problem for many women not just whilst they are carrying but after childbirth too. Weakened pelvic floor can lead to urinary incontinence, painful intercourse, prolapse and general discomfort.
Even though this may sound scary, the pelvic floor is like any other muscle – it can be exercised and strengthened. Strengthening it can also make your pregnancy generally more comfortable and help you during delivery.
If you come to our lessons, make sure you ask us about out special leaflet about Pelvic Floor exercises!
4. Aches and pains alleviation
As your baby grows your body will start changing – your organs will shift slightly in position, your abdominals will stretch beyond their original shape and your centre of gravity will shift too. All these changes lead to some discomfort like swollen and painful legs and feet or back pain.
Pregnancy yoga can help with many of these aches and pains. Safe stretches can help promote circulation and ease any pain and swelling you may have in your feet. Stretching your legs and lower back muscles can help minimise the pain you may start to feel as your belly grows.
5. Easier birth
Yoga exercises can also aid your birth experience and make it easier. As your pregnancy progresses, your body releases hormones in preparation for birth. This softens and relaxes the joints in your pelvis and it becomes even more important to keep the muscles in that area exercised. As mentioned in point 3 – Pregnancy yoga helps you do that.
Another thing that can be beneficial during labour, is breathing techniques. The techniques we teach in our classes help you focus on breathing slowly and deeply. This might help with shortness of breath during your pregnancy and with contractions during labour.
And finally, the social aspect of going to a pregnancy class should also not be underestimated. Mummies to be are often in a position where their routine and life overall change a lot. This can leave you feeling lonely and stressed. Coming to a class where everyone around you is going through the same experience can make you feel less alone. Meeting and bonding with other mums to be can prepare help alleviate some of the stress you’re feeling about being a new parent.
You may now be thinking that Pregnancy yoga sounds great, but you’ve never done yoga in your life and that will be a problem. We’re here to tell you – it’s not. Pregnancy yoga can be done by experienced yoga practitioners and newbies alike! The modified movements and techniques are created especially for pregnant women and are safe, not too strenuous and easy to follow even if you have no experience. Please, drop us a line if you have any other questions.