A few weeks ago we were lucky enough at Baby Bird Cafe, to begin hosting Pregnancy Yoga classes with the wonderful Stella Cronshey of Stella Yoga in Oswestry.
Stella has written us a guest blog post on the key benefits of yoga during pregnancy.
7 benefits of pregnancy yoga,
by Stella Cronshey (of Stella Yoga in Oswestry)
Whether it’s achy bodies, sleeplessness or anxiety, yoga is the perfect release from a variety of pregnancy symptoms while also helping mums prepare for birth.
The ancient self-help system of yoga promotes mental and physical well-being and balance, which is vital during times of transition or uncertainty. The experience of being pregnant and giving birth involves great physical and emotional changes. Using yoga techniques to breathe, move and relax during this time offer a multitude of benefits which will help lay the foundations for decades of mothering. Read on for seven of the top benefits of prenatal yoga…...
1. Improves sleep
Not only will yoga help you sleep on the same day as taking the class (which it will, massively, and then some), but yoga actually teaches you how to sleep. “Nap when the baby naps." You’ll hear this advice dozens of times during and after pregnancy. The message is that sleeping when you’re tired is not necessarily part of your new normal. Instead, you’ll have to learn to rest when the opportunity presents itself. Savasana, the relaxation pose that comes at the end of any yoga class, is often adapted to a side-lying or semi-reclining pose in prenatal yoga. But the benefits are the same. Learning to quiet your mind and body and get rest when you can will serve you well when your sleep schedule is out of your control.
2. Yoga builds strength
One of the best things about yoga is it makes you stronger all over. You’ll need that strength in your lower body to carry the added pregnancy weight and compensate for changes in balance. And you’ll need it in your upper body to handle the weight you’ll be carrying around for the year or so after birth… your baby!
3. Yoga helps relieve aches and pains
Back pain is a common pregnancy complaint, often worsening as the weight of the uterus (and the baby in it) increases. Prenatal yoga strengthens the muscles that support this weight, taking pressure off the lower back. Many women experience irritation of the sciatic nerve during pregnancy, and yoga can also be great for this. The pigeon pose and half-moon pose can stretch this area to relieve pain, and inversions can help make space in the pelvis to lessen irritation.
4. Yoga teaches you to breathe
Breathing exercises can be incredibly helpful during pregnancy for calming and centering purposes, and to maximize oxygen flow when you need it. Breath control is an invaluable asset for pain management in labour and birth, especially for those hoping to forego medical pain relief options.
5: Yoga teaches balance
As weight and body shape changes, pregnant women can feel wonky and wobbly. Balancing asanas, like the tree pose and the half-moon pose, help women get comfortable with their changing center of gravity, while poses like the downward dog and the warrior will help stretch and strengthen the muscles required to counterbalance the growing baby bump.
6: Yoga relieves anxiety
The attention to breathing, the calm atmosphere and music, and the stretching and relaxation can really help turn down the noise in your head. Yoga is about being in the moment and letting everything else fall away for the time being. That break from the bustle can help with anxiety about health, birth, or anything else there is to do or worry about.
7: Meet other Mums-to-Be
Prenatal exercise classes are one of the best ways to meet mums who are also at your stage in pregnancy. As you transition to a new phase of your life, having a supportive network of women who understand what you’re going through is incredibly helpful.
Our classes at Baby Bird Cafe in Oswestry are on Wednesday evenings, and suitable from 14 weeks into your pregnancy. You can contact us or find out more by visiting the ‘Stella Yoga in Oswestry’ page on Facebook or by messaging Baby Bird Cafe CIC.