Oh Baby Oh…to Prenatal Yoga we go!
The Hancock Wellness Centers have recently started a moms-to-be program called Maternity Fit. It is a program designed for all moms-to-be in any stage of pregnancy with a direct focus on healthy pre and post natal exercise, nutrition, and general well being.
One portion of the program being offered is Prenatal Yoga, which is one of the best forms of exercise moms-to-be can incorporate into their pregnancy. Yoga for pregnant women is a fantastic activity that shouldn’t (in the correct class) place too much strain on your body. Just like a regular yoga class, it focuses on stretching, strength, and flexibility but in a prenatal class extra attention is given to mental-centering and focused breathing. These skills are powerful learning tools that you will need in the coming future when your little nugget is ready to jump into this world.
What can a pregnant mom expect in a prenatal yoga class?
For those women familiar with yoga, it will feel similar to traditional yoga class with just a little less structure and pose requirements. A typical class might include:
- Breathing: Breath work is one of the most integral pieces of Prenatal yoga. Learning to connect with the breath, calm with the breath and work within the breath’s comfort zone during yoga directly connects to changes during pregnancy and the birthing process.
- Stretching: Working into different stretches can alleviate aches and pains that come along with pregnancy. Stretching can help you feel relaxed and help prepare you for labor.
- Standing postures: Safely finding strength poses is key during pregnancy. Not only can strengthening the body help during labor but can also help in recovery after birth. Balance shifts during pregnancy so continuing to work on balance poses aids in recognizing and working through these shifts.
- Relaxation: This is possibly the biggest factor ad benefit of a prenatal yoga class. The importance of finding relaxation during pregnancy can not be understated. Not only can it add to a pregnant women’s experience during pregnancy because of the above stated reasons but prenatal yoga can have an effect on myriad factors surrounding a pregnant women; stress with a partner or other children, stress of aches and pains, stress of an ever shifting sand of body changes and all the many factors that pregnant women experience.
All of these elements can lead to amazing benefits like improved sleep, reduced stress, increased strength. Prenatal yoga has also been shown to help with low back pain, nausea, headaches and shortness of breath. One of the added benefits is meeting other pregnant women and sharing experiences, a healthy community can be a strong support during and beyond your pregnancy.
Where do I start?
First, talk to your health care provider before you begin any exercise routine. If you are in an at risk category, such as increased risk for preterm labor or other medical conditions, prenatal yoga might not be right for you. Second, set realistic goals; now is not the time to “get in shape”. We want you to pace yourself and only go at your comfort level. Third, stay hydrated and cool—no over heating! And lastly, work with a instructor who has prenatal training and knows what postures and poses to avoid.
No matter what stage of your pregnancy, Hancock Wellness is here to support you In your journey. We want you to find the best you through prenatal or postnatal support. If you want to find out more about Maternity fit or any other Hancock Wellness programs, please contact us at your Wellness Center. We look forward to connecting with you!
Greta Wilson, Group Exercise Instructor
Hancock Wellness Center – McCordsville