6 Reasons Why You Should Take a Prenatal Yoga Class
Practicing prenatal yoga during pregnancy will you keep you calm and strong, preparing you and your baby for a healthy life ahead. Whether you are brand new to yoga or a seasoned practitioner, joining a prenatal class will ensure you receive the attention and modifications you need for a safe practice. The class environment also introduces you to fellow moms-to-be in your community, opening up doors for support and new friendships.
Here are 6 great reasons to find the nearest prenatal class in your community and start practicing.
1) Learn to (Really) Breathe. You spend 9 months preparing for childbirth, and what better preparation than learning breath control? Deep breathing calms the nervous system by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, sending the mind and body into a relaxation mode. In yoga, we practice breathing with awareness, a technique you can use to stay calm during childbirth. Breathing with awareness trains the body and mind to breathe deeper, thereby letting go of physical tension, regulating the heart rate, clearing the mind and finding relaxation mode when under stress.
2) Find Balance. The core of any yoga practice depends on creating balance—between mind and body, strength and flexibility, relaxing and focusing. Pregnancy causes mental and physical changes in the body, often leading to feelings of imbalance. Yoga helps draw awareness to these feelings. A class gives you the basics for a home practice of properly sequenced postures (ie. for every stretch there is a counter-stretch) and applied breathing techniques to create balance in the mind and body.
3) Release Tension. During pregnancy, the body must adjust to carrying around extra weight, which puts stress on the back, neck and shoulders. A prenatal yoga class includes simple poses emphasizing good posture and spine alignment with the help of props. Learning proper form, understanding how to use the props correctly, and receiving adjustments enables you to safely practice the postures at home.
4) Understand What Not to Do. When practicing yoga during pregnancy, you must practice with care and know which poses to modify or avoid to reduce the risk of complications. A prenatal instructor will guide you through a series of pregnancy-safe poses you can continue to practice at home. Learning what not to do is especially important to avid yoga practitioners who become pregnant—as tempting as it is, no twists, inversions, fast breathing, backbending or ab exercises for 9 months, yoginis!
5) Build Friendships. Small group classes create an intimate space for moms-to-be to share personal experiences and feelings surrounding pregnancy that can only be understood by fellow expectant mothers.
6) Set the Stage for an At-Home Practice. Going to a yoga class once a week is a great start, but won’t provide as great a benefit as continuing your practice at home. Living in a technology-rich society with unlimited resources at our fingertips, information and advice for what to expect during pregnancy has never been so available. Many pregnant women have heard of the benefits of practicing prenatal yoga and may be tempted to begin an at-home practice with the help of online resources. While there is much to be learned through the web, attending a prenatal class with a certified instructor will help you start your prenatal practice safely and effectively.
*Please consult your physician before beginning a prenatal yoga practice. A qualified center offering prenatal yoga classes will require a note from your doctor granting permission to take part in the class.
SoCal Hot Yoga will be offering a complimentary trial prenatal yoga class (non-heated) on March 3 and March 7 at the Brentwood studio in Los Angeles. 5 week Classes begin March 17 and March 21st. For more information, or to Sign Up visit our Prenatal Yoga Page.