Yoga can play a key role for a smooth pregnancy and empower the mother-to-be to have the most conscious birth experience. But more importantly, yoga does wonders on the physical and mental development of the baby.
Giving birth requires energy and stamina, so staying active during pregnancy is good preparation for the hard work that lies ahead. Keeping up a yoga routine may even help shorten your labour and help the birth to go smoothly. Pregnancy naturally inspires a connection to and curiosity about our bodies and yoga enhances this, taking us deeper into ourselves.
There are endless benefits expecting mothers receive from rolling out the mat. Here are a few of the reasons why:
Breathing is key in yoga and during pregnancy. Many pregnant women experience shortness of breath, because their growing bellies limit diaphragm movement. With emphasis on the breathing during a pregnancy yoga class, students can find areas in the body where they can optimise each inhale. The focus of alignment in the spine creates more space for the lungs to expand, and side stretching will enable more air into the sides of the rib cage.
Grounding yoga postures can help create a deeper mind-body connection. Many expectant mums experience anxiety and may feel they are not prepared for when the baby arrives. The fear of the unknown leads to stress and anxiety. Incorporating grounding yoga postures and reminding students to get out of their heads and onto the mat during class can provide a feeling or reassurance and relaxation – a release from anxiety or distress during this incredible personal and spiritual journey.
Hip-opening postures are great preparations to loosen up the hips for labour and birth. In addition to easing the birth process, the hips can cause discomfort during the later stages of pregnancy in day-to-day activities. By incorporating hip stretches into your routine, the hips release both physical and emotional tension, reducing discomfort associated with tight hips.
Relief for low back pain from cat-cow stretches and forward bend is extremely helpful. As the baby grows, it increases the arch in the lumbar spine, which can cause pain in the lower back. Cat-cow stretches can be a huge help to relieve back pain, as do forward bends. When hamstrings tighten you can experience pressure in the lower back –stretching them out can greatly reduce any discomfort.
Preparing for contractions by learning to calm the mind is essential for labour and birth. By breathing through the challenge, the mind can calm down to relax the body and move through the surges. Good spirit, full control of the mind and trusting the process of birth releases fear and anxiety. This equips mothers with a powerful tool to stay grounded and focused during labour.
Alexa’s classes, with dim lights, background music and lots of warmth and laughter, consist of a happy mix of women at different stages of pregnancy and with varied experience of yoga. The vibe is upbeat, flowy, nurturing and friendly. Click here to view her schedule and book a class. For more information about Alexa visit www.alexadean.co.uk.