Everything You Need to Know About Prenatal Yoga

06 June, 2020
Pregnant women going through pregnancy without complications should do some type of physical exercise, like prenatal yoga. Discover the benefits of this activity!

The physical changes in your body during pregnancy, added to your nervousness about becoming a mother, can cause a lot of stress. But did you know that prenatal yoga can help you focus?

Practicing yoga while pregnant can be an excellent way to prepare yourself mentally and physically for childbirth. In this article, we’ll talk about the benefits of prenatal yoga. Don’t miss out!

What is prenatal yoga?

A pregnant woman sitting down practicing prenatal yoga.
Prenatal yoga can help you to connect with yourself and your baby.

Before focusing specifically on yoga for pregnant women, we have to define what exactly it is. It’s a practice that covers concentration, breathing, and meditation techniques to achieve physical and mental health. In reality, it’s more than a “practice”, it’s a lifestyle.

On a physical level, prenatal yoga attempts to improve your flexibility and strength, while also teaching you to breathe and relax. The goal of doing it during pregnancy is to get the necessary tools to face childbirth more easily and harmoniously.

One study from 2012 suggests that this type of exercise can be very beneficial because they observed:

  • Certain psychological improvements during pregnancy and childbirth
  • A higher tolerance of discomfort and pain during birth.

Don’t miss this: Everything There Is to Know about Water Birth

What are the yoga classes like?

If you’re thinking about starting a prenatal yoga class, you might like to know beforehand what they do in the classes. Firstly, the classes normally last between an hour and an hour and a half. During that time, you’ll do different poses and breathing and meditation exercises like:

  1. Sun salutation: a succession of poses designed to warm up your muscles and channel your body’s energy.
  2. Asanas: that’s the name used for static positions that work on your muscles. They’re done in pairs of poses and contra-poses. There are also some dynamic yoga classes where the poses are done with movement.
  3. Relaxation: after the poses, it’s time to calm your body and mind again before leaving. This can be a great time to meditate.

Benefits of prenatal yoga

A sleeping pregnant woman.
Practicing yoga provides many benefits to pregnant women, among them, sleeping better.

To help you see whether it’s for you, we’ll tell you the improvements you might see when you practice yoga while pregnant. Yoga provides a ton of benefits to future mothers. Among them, it can:

  • Improve sleep
  • Help increase flexibility and stamina, two important aspects when facing childbirth
  • Reduce back pain
  • Help reduce nausea
  • Reduce headaches
  • Reduce stress
  • Harmonize your mind, body, and spirit
  • Keep you agile and in shape during pregnancy
  • Help reduce pain during childbirth, according to a 2017 study
  • Help you to connect with your baby: during the yoga class you’ll focus 100% on your own body, and this will help you connect deeply with your little one.

Read also: Eleven Habits You Should Avoid During Pregnancy

When should you practice yoga during pregnancy?

If you have a pregnancy without any complications, you can practice yoga from the start of gestation right through to birth. That is, if you don’t have any medical contraindications against physical exercise, you can start prenatal yoga right away.

Of course, we always recommend that before you start, you ask your doctor about it. They, more than anyone, will be able to advise you about your health and your baby’s health.

If your doctor approves of your desire to start prenatal yoga, we’ll give you another tip: look for a studio or gym with special classes for pregnant women. Don’t try to start by yourself. Remember, the most important thing right now is the health of your baby. Be very careful!

3 basic yoga poses

A pregnant woman doing yoga pose.
Through different techniques you’ll be able to provide benefits to your health during pregnancy.

Do you want to know what you’ll do in a yoga class for pregnant women? We’ll list here how to do three basic poses, ideal for beginners.

  1. Dandasana. This is a base pose. Sit on the ground, with your back straight and stretch your legs out. Rest your hands on the ground beside your thighs. Make sure your legs are together. The main goal is to tone your back and legs.
  2. Sukhasana. This is possibly the most famous pose and is associated with meditation. Sit on the floor and cross your legs, putting each food against the opposite knee, so it doesn’t touch the ground. Keep your back straight. This position helps to strengthen your back and increase your groin’s flexibility, among other benefits.
  3. Tadasana. Stand up with your feet parallel, so that your big toes touch, but your heels are slightly separated. Keep your back straight, relax your shoulders and head. With this pose, you’ll improve your posture and help prevent sciatica pain.

What do you think about the benefits of prenatal yoga? Without a doubt, there are many and it’s worth giving it a go. Remember, see your doctor before signing up for any classes!

  • Curtis, Kathryn. Weinrib, Aliza. Katz, Joel. (2012). Systematic Review of Yoga for Pregnant Women: Current Status and Future Directions. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3424788/
  • NCBI. (2017). Yoga during pregnancy: The effects on labor pain and delivery outcomes (A randomized controlled trial). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28438273
  • NCBI. (2017). Effects of prenatal yoga on women’s stress and immune function across pregnancy: A randomized controlled trial. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28434463