When you are expecting, prenatal yoga can help you stay fit, prepare your body for labor and promote your baby’s health. Prenatal yoga offers a dynamic approach to affect your fitness level as well as your mental health.
Here are a few things you can expect from a prenatal yoga class:
[h2]Breathing or Pranayama:[/h2] Expect guided breathing techniques that encourage attention and focus on the sensation of the breath. Deep breathing techniques with focused awareness ensure an abundant supply of oxygen for you and your baby. Prenatal yoga breathing techniques may also help you manage shortness of breath and endurance during pregnancy and work through contractions during labor.
[h2]Postures (Asanas) and physical movement:[/h2] Step-by-step instruction for physical exercise ensures that you can safely increase your strength, flexibility, balance and muscular endurance during your pregnancy. Prenatal yoga exercises can help your body prepare for childbirth and promote a speedy return of your pre-pregnancy body by tapping into muscle memory. Props (blankets, blocks or straps) may be used to provide support and comfort. Exercises are coordinated with the movement of the breath to promote a connection between mind and body. The level of exercise and types of movements will depend on where you are in your pregnancy. Be sure to let your instructor know if you have any specific pain or concerns before you begin.
[h2]Guided focus or intention:[/h2] Because the mind and body are deeply connected, we can decrease stress and anxiety, and cure the prenatal blues by focusing on this relationship through a guided meditation technique, intention or focus. You will likely be encouraged to use mindfulness strategies or maintain your attention on a specific sensation in the body or your breath and notice what mental tendencies (thoughts) arise while in class. You might be asked to experiment with your mental habits and reactions to become more aware of how they affect your mood or change sensation in the body. Yoga techniques can help to create fulfillment in each moment despite what the external circumstances may be.