Pregnancy yoga: 7 benefits for pregnant women

Many women's first encounter with yoga is during pregnancy after it's been recommended by a doctor, their midwife or a birth preparation book. But why should every pregnant woman do pregancy yoga?

1. It develops strength and balance

As your body changes during pregnancy and your bump grows, it’s essential to have the balance and strenght needed to carry your new shape. Through a carefully sequenced series of poses that stimulate the muscles in your legs, torso and arms, pregnancy yoga helps to build vital balance and strength and to boost circulation.

2. Maintaining fitness during your pregnancy

As your pregnancy develops, it can be difficult to continue your usual fitness routine. Or maybe you don’t have a regular form of exercise. Pregnancy yoga provides a gentle form of movement that allows women to maintain a healthy level of fitness to keep their bodies fit during this special time.

3. Relieves pain and tension

Pregnant women can experience a variety of conditions from painful backs and hips to fliud build up around ankle joints. Pregnancy yoga gives you a full hour of specialised practise to ease out any tension or aches. Joint-freeing excercises lubricate tired ankles, gentle hip exercises free up muscles and careful, supported forward bends and open twists mobilise the back.

4. Connecting with the breath to prepare you for labour

You would be forgiven for thinking that yoga is all about the physical, about who can do the fanciest pose – that’s thanks to Instagram! But yoga is actually about meditation, whether that’s sitting on a cushion or through movement on the mat. It’s about creating a deep mind-body-breath connection.

During pregnancy yoga, you are encouraged to slow down and focus on your breath, to appreciate the deeply calming effect that mastering the breath has on the mind and physical body. This, alongside the physical practise,  empowers pregnant women to feel confident and in control during labour.

5. Quiet time to connect with your baby

Yoga means to yoke or to unite and that’s exactly what’s needed for pregnancy and child birth. In the western world, we tend to live in our head space most of the time. Somehow we have lost that deeper connection between the body and mind. Pregnancy yoga provides a quiet, dedicated time and space to connect with and nuture the new baby growing inside.

During class, you are guided to quieten down busy thoughts and mental chatter, to listen to your inner self and to bond peacefully with your baby, sending any hopes and wishes to this new life. You learn how to bring this important ability to slow down and tune in, to your daily life.

6. Decreases stress and boosts relaxation

This might be your first pregnancy or you might have children at home. Maybe you’re working full-time through your pregnany. Pregnancy, particularly in the early months and at the end, can be tiring. Pregnancy yoga gives you time to rest and encourages you to practise kindness towards yourself when you're expecting and in the time after, so that you will be in good physical and mental health when your precious newborn arrives. The class ends with a long relaxation, where wrapped in blankes and cushioned with pillows and bolsters, you experience a blissful guided relaxation and savasana.

7. Time to share with others and ask for advice

At the start of pregnancy yoga classes in Durga Yoga and Antenatal, there is time to chat in a friendly, supportive space about any issues or aches and to ask questions. It’s also a lovely time when expectant women get to share exciting news on important scans or milestones. Many women stay in touch outside class and afterwards. There is great excitement when the babies are born and a wonderful sense of sisterhood.

Pregnancy yoga classes take place in Durga Yoga and Antenatal every Tuesday at 7pm- 8pm and Wednesday at 7.15pm – 8.15pm. Book online today »