BENEFITS OF PRENATAL YOGA DURING PREGNANCY

INCREASES OVERALL STRENGTH AND FLEXIBILITY: Yoga enables the stretching of muscles and the tissue that encase your muscles, stimulating organ systems and promoting the circulation of blood and oxygen.

REDUCES LOW BACK PAIN & SCIATICA: Your body is an ever-changing vessel during pregnancy, and this means keeping it in safe alignment is crucial. Yoga helps develop this alignment, which can help reduce the degree of pelvic tilt associated with pregnancy and significantly reduce the lower back pain pelvic tilt can cause.

REDUCES ACHES & FATIGUE IN THE THORACIC AND CERVICAL REGIONS OF THE SPINE: It can be difficult to find a comfortable space for yourself when trying to sleep.  As a result, spinal alignment can become compromised.  Certain yoga poses create more fluidity in the spine.

REDUCES SWELLING & INFLAMMATION AROUND THE JOINTS: A regular yoga practice improves and promotes the circulation of blood and oxygen throughout your body.  This, in turn, can reduce swelling and inflammation around ankles and wrists.

HELPS PHYSICALLY PREPARE YOUR BODY FOR BIRTH: Prenatal yoga often includes poses to assist in the toning of the pelvic floor muscles.  Familiarizing yourself with and strengthening these muscles can allow you to efficiently and effectively use them in labor to help usher your baby earthside.

IMPROVES EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING: Participation in a group prenatal class provides a supportive community of other women who are experiencing each stage of pregnancy themselves and preparing for birth.


BENEFITS OF PRENATAL YOGA DURING LABOR

USE OF DEEP BELLY BREATH SOOTH AND EMPOWERS AND HELPS YOU TO LISTEN AND RESPOND CALMLY
Deep belly breathing helps stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system (rest-and-relax response).  The body responds to the parasympathetic nervous system by slowing the heart rate and decreasing blood pressure while increasing the release of endorphins.  When you consistently practice moving your body in unison with your breath, you carry with you a powerful relaxation and pain management tool.  The imprinted memory of your relationship to your breath can assist in managing the pain/discomfort of a contraction.

FACILITATES THE LABOR PROCESS
Through yoga, you can learn how to identify when you are holding tension in your body.  A tense body is not going to facilitate the birth process as easily as one that is relaxed.  Moreover, when the body is tense, you may experience tension in thought and a withholding of breath.  Consequently, a regular prenatal practice can reduce the length of your labor. Everyone wins!

IMPROVES YOUR PHYSICAL COMFORT
Many yoga poses can translate wonderfully into comfortable laboring positions.  It can be helpful to have an idea of how you can position your body to help you during contractions and during relaxation.

PREPARES YOU FOR USE OF MEDIATION & VISUAL IMAGERY TOOLS
When it comes time to ride through the most powerful of contractions, visual imagery combined with breath work can be one of the most useful labor tools.  Additionally, the opportunity to develop a moment by moment awareness in yoga practice can assist you in attending to labor moment by moment and is an asset to managing labor.

FAMILIARIZES YOU WITH THE CONCEPT OF VOCALIZATION
In many yoga classes you will have an opportunity to become comfortable with the inherent power of vocalization, which is a very powerful asset in labor.  Vocalization encourages a commitment to a long, deep inhale and a long, slow exhale which is supportive of deep belly breathing and the opening necessary to birth your baby.

HELPS YOU TO USE THE MUSCLES OF YOUR PELVIC FLOOR EFFECTIVELY
Squatting combined with a kegel-like movement during pregnancy can assist your labor.  If you receive an epidural you may lose sensation in your pelvic floor, which can make pushing your baby out a bit of a guessing game.  If you are used to working with these muscles, you will find it easier to use them even if you cannot feel them.  And in a natural birth, you will want these muscles to work quickly and effectively when it comes time to push.