The journey of carrying life and giving birth is an awesome and amazing journey! Prenatal yoga is one of the most powerful tools during this pivotal shift in a woman’s life.
What does prenatal yoga have to offer?
- Build connection between mom & baby, mom and herself and mom and her community.
- Assist the body, mind and spirit through the transitions, changes and discomforts of pregnancy.
- Empower women to experience the power, beauty and transformation of pregnancy, birth and motherhood.
If you are new to yoga and pregnant, it is recommended that you wait to begin a yoga practice until around 11 weeks into your pregnancy. Your body is already going through so many changes in preparing for baby that adding another stressor into the mix is not advised at this point. It is better to allow the body to take time to adjust and create a sacred home for baby.
If you are already practicing yoga and become pregnant, it is very important that you do not work too strenuously during the first trimester. Inversions and arm balances are not recommended at this early phase of pregnancy, although if you are already practicing Vinyasa you may continue to do so, being mindful not to push yourself too hard. Inversions and arm balances, if already in your practice, may be continued around week 11 until around week 34.
The classes recommended for pregnant students are Prenatal, Restore and Renew and Yin. With caution and care Yoga Fundamentals, Back 2 Basics, Lunch Time Yoga and Stretch and Condition may also be taken. Always remind our instructors that you are pregnant (it may not seem as obvious as you think) so modifications may be offered. Hot classes are not recommended when pregnant.
Always check with your doctor before beginning yoga or any other type of exercise program if you become pregnant.
Click here to see when prenatal is offered.
Study Says Yoga Reduces Depression in Pregnant Moms
by Yoga Dork on August 9, 2012
Hey mommas, good news! While it’s not so cheery that one in five pregnant women may experience major depression, it’s pretty wonderful news that yoga can help reduce the symptoms.
A research team at the University of Michigan conducted a study that found yoga to be an effective means of relieving stress of pregnant moms as an alternative to taking antidepressants (which many moms are hesitant to take for fear of affecting the babe).
We know what you’re thinking…But, wait, isn’t pregnancy an ecstatically joyous time of rainbows, fairy dust and sunshine? Not exactly. Pregnancy isn’t just about the little munchkin growing in your belly. Lots of changes happen in mom, too, that you can’t see, and that could lead to trouble later.
Hormonal changes, genetic predisposition and social factors set the stage for some expectant moms to experience persistent irritability, feelings of being overwhelmed and inability to cope with stress, according to the researchers. Untreated, these symptoms could be major health risks for both mother and baby, including poor weight gain, preeclampsia, premature labor, and trouble bonding.
“Our work provides promising first evidence that mindfulness yoga may be an effective alternative to pharmaceutical treatment for pregnant women showing signs of depression. This promotes both mother and baby well-being,” says lead author Maria Muzik, M.D., M.S., assistant professor of psychiatry.
The study, published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, involved women 12 to 26 weeks pregnant and showing signs of depression. Each participated in 90-minute “mindfulness” yoga sessions focused on creating awareness around changes happening in their bodies as their babies grow and poses that support the pregnant body.
The result? Calmer, happier mommies.
Of course, like anything with the white coats, more research is needed. So it’s nice that a grant from the Institute for Research on Women and Gender will fund some follow-up work.
“Research on the impact of mindfulness yoga on pregnant women is limited but encouraging,” [Muzik] said. “This study builds the foundation for further research on how yoga may lead to an empowered and positive feeling toward pregnancy.”
So for all you moms who are like pffft, been there, done that, knew that, thanks. Right on, sisters. Tell your friends. For everyone else, cheer up! We’ll all benefit from happier pregnant ladies, believe us.