The hype of yoga is constantly growing in this culture and is not just a practice for men who dwell in caves and fast for days on end. It has become more and more popular for women, but not just women looking for a new exercise. Anyone who has practiced knows how much more of a total body workout it is. It’s not just about toning the abs or sculpting a hard core booty, but a deep practice that allows one to breathe and tune inward.
One of the classes that women are turning to is prenatal yoga. Prenatal yoga is a great way to prepare a woman for birth. It prepares her for labor by giving her the tools to breathe and calm the mind. The expecting mother also learns to connect with the miracle growing inside of her by simply showing up on the mat and nurturing both she and baby. Classes are centered around connecting mom and baby through both the physical and mental aspects of yoga. A balanced prenatal class consists of meditation, pranayama (breath), asana (posture) and deep relaxation.
An expecting mother can find herself sitting in meditation while breathing life into the womb. This allows her an opportunity to embrace the pregnancy as well as to become mindful of the new life that is growing inside of her. Meditation also allows the mother to create the space between she and baby to begin the bonding process. Mothers also find benefit in chanting ‘Om Shanti’ because it calms not only the mother, but baby as well. When the woman becomes relaxed then the atmosphere in the womb becomes relaxed. One of my yoga friends claims that her prenatal practice has benefited her child even at the age of four. She claims that her child handles emotional situations in a more calm way than other children. She also mentioned that when her child is upset she chants ‘Om Shanti’ to her and within seconds she is calm and quiet. My friend believes that her child remembers this beautiful sound from the womb and how it connected them as one.
Experts at the Mayo Clinic have found that prenatal yoga is “a multifaceted approach to exercise that encourages stretching, mental centering and focused breathing.”
Prenatal yoga provides the strength and stability for a woman to deliver her baby. The postures tone, strengthen and stretch the body. It also helps to release tension and stiffness in the muscles. The end result is an improved sense of wellbeing on the physical level, less fatigue and an enhanced emotional being.
Prenatal Yoga is not just for the second trimester. All expecting mothers in all trimesters can benefit from the practice. In fact, I was taught a specific sequence that is geared towards all trimesters. Expecting mothers can expect to stretch and lengthen in a challenging, grounding way. It is not fast paced and it is not totally slow. In fact, if you’ve ever taken a slow flow class or a deep stretch class you may find that my prenatal class is all of that in one.
Please join me on Thursday evenings at Mint Hill Yoga from 6:45 til 8:00 pm.