What Is Prenatal Yoga?
Prenatal yoga revolves around breathing techniques and physical poses that help pregnant women before, during and after birth. Instructors provide various supports to help women perform the poses comfortably so that they will be able to improve their strength and flexibility and be better prepared for birth. These poses are often modified because the normal asanas can be taxing on the joints and hips during pregnancy. Classes also focus on breathing techniques that will help you control your breathing during labour. And last but by no means least, prenatal yoga classes are a chance to meet other pregnant women and chat with them so you have a bigger support circle around you!
Prenatal yoga has numerous benefits for your physical and mental health ahead of the big day!
- Increases your strength, endurance and flexibility ahead of the birth
- Helps you sleep
- Relieves lower back pain
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Improves concentration
What will happen at your first class:
Your teacher will probably ask you how many months you are into your pregnancy so that they can make sure the class best meets your needs. Feel free to ask them any questions you have before starting. Classes generally start with a warm-up and then move on to gentle yoga poses using various props. Everything is designed to be suitable for pregnant women. You will also learn different breathing techniques to help you during labour. Prenatal yoga classes end with a savasana that is suited to your trimester so that you can relax and recover.
What you need for doing yoga:
- A mat: choose a comfortable mat that is at least 5 mm thick.
- Cropped bottoms, leggings or maternity trousers: The best thing to wear is a pair of cropped bottoms, leggings or maternity trousers made from cotton or stretchy, breathable fabric so that you can move around.
- A suitable top: A tank top or T-shirt will let you move while fitting comfortably around your belly. It's also a good idea to take a sweatshirt or cardigan to keep you warm during the class.
- Accessories and props: Most of the equipment you need will be provided by the studio, but if you want to do some more yoga at home, you can get your own cushions, bricks and rugs so that you can exercise comfortably.