Sarah Flores- Prenatal and Postpartum Yoga Instructor, Birth Doula

A Yogic practice can be beneficial for many women during their pregnancy, and after their baby decides to make his/her debut. Whether you’re a seasoned Yogi, or may have never stepped foot on a mat, the benefits movement holds is profound.

With regards to prenatal Yoga, a woman may start as soon as she feels comfortable. We work on opening the hips, maintaining muscle, and finding movement with the breath. It is our hope that with practice, you may take this strength and mindfulness and use it when bringing your baby earthside. Our babies begin to hear muffled outside noises at about 18 weeks, and at around 24 weeks, can hear voices more distinctly than ever before. Our wombs are very noisy places! Using our breath to communicate with our baby is very effective.

Pre-natal Yoga Is Unique

One of the reasons a prenatal specific Yoga class is beneficial, is that it is geared towards supporting you through the many physical and emotional changes, which occur during pregnancy. With relaxin flooding the body, you may find that you can enter poses more easily than before. This can be great, but can also cause damage to our ever stretching and growing body. It is important to listen to what our bodies are telling us, to rest, and to nurture ourselves. Movement, coupled with breath is a great way to accomplish this.

Yoga Nurtures The Body

Nurturing ourselves postpartum, is just as important. We live in a fast paced world, going from one thing to the next. Sleepless nights, appointments, worry, and joy, may all be in abundance once your little babe comes earthside. Finding time for movement in this transitional and transformational time is just as crucial now, as it was when your belly was swelling. A postpartum specific Yoga class will typically focus on rebuilding strength in the body, while being mindful to issues such as diastasis recti, and a weaker pelvic floor. Finding time and space for yourself, you- the mama, is also a crucial component.

Set Yourself Up To Succeed

Starting, or developing a Yoga practice during pregnancy and postpartum, sets one up for success. It may not always be easy, and you may not always feel like doing it. It is important to remember however, that our body holds our emotional memory. Movement helps us release what is not serving us. And who knows, you might just get a better quality of sleep (however many hours that may be) because of it!

The information contained in this article is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of your physician or licensed health care provider. You should consult your physician or licensed health care provider before engaging in any exercise activity described in this article to determine if it is right for your needs.