Keeping fit while pregnant is always something of a challenge. With all that extra weight, your body can no longer handle high-intensity workouts and many of your favourite activities are suddenly off the table. That’s why many expecting mothers turn to yoga for their weekly workout. With its gentle approach to toning your body, and its proven ability to both relax and rejuvenate, yoga has long been a favourite of pregnant women.

 

And yet, what many women don’t know is that prenatal yoga has other benefits too. Not only can yoga help strengthen your body and reduce inner stress, but it can also help prepare you for the act of childbirth and benefit your baby’s health. This week, U Mamma explores some of the established benefits of prenatal yoga.*

 

 

Fitness and overall health

 

The first and most obvious benefit of yoga - in general - is that it improves physical stamina and strength. Yoga is known to improve flexibility, posture, and strength, and to boost overall wellness. And, of course, a strengthened core and improved posture are especially important for pregnant women.

 

Alongside this, prenatal yoga has also been known to decrease back pain, reduce headaches and nausea, and lower the risk of developing of conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome.

 

Yoga is also well known to improve circulation and boost your immune system.

 

Breathing Training

 

Alongside these more general benefits, yoga also helps you prepare for the act of childbirth by teaching you how to breathe correctly. At the heart of yoga - as a practice - is the act of breathing. When you practice yoga, you are taught not only how to breathe fully and deeply, but how to regulate and control your breathing. This training will help prepare you for going into labour and for giving birth to your baby. Not only that, but it might help you deal with the future demands of motherhood too!

 

Stress Reduction

 

Another wonderful benefit of prenatal yoga is its ability to reduce stress. Recent studies have shown that yoga helps the body deal with stress by slowing your heart rates and lowering blood pressure, which is good not only for pregnant women, but for those postnatal months too.

 

Alongside its more general stress-reducing qualities, yoga has also been shown to improve both the quality and quantity of sleep. Given the importance of getting adequate sleep while expecting, this is good news for pregnant women.

 

Community

 

And, finally, one benefit that should not be overlooked is the social element of prenatal yoga classes. By attending regular prenatal yoga classes, you will have the opportunity to meet and socialise with other Moms-to-be. Spending time in a relaxed, friendly environment with other pregnant women on a regular basis is important to your emotional wellbeing. Not only that, however, but your fellow classmates can also help motivate you to stay in shape!

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If you think might be interested in attending a class, why not take a look at U Mamma’s website? We have a range of yoga and
fitness classes on offer - for both pre and post natal women - all of which are conducted by certified professionals. Take a look here: http://umamma.ie/classes

 

To learn more about prenatal yoga in general, visit:
Mayo Clinic
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*You should always discuss any exercise routine with your midwife or health care professional.