How Can Prenatal Yoga Help In Birth, Postpartum and Beyond?

“Most people have no idea how good their body is designed to feel.” ~ Kevin Trudeau.

@infinitelovedoula

@infinitelovedoula

How can yoga help you? Learning techniques to relax yourself, focus, feel grounded, balanced, strong, and how to release and surrender will empower you to have a much easier pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum and life as mother.  Growing, birthing and caring for your baby involves your body, mind, heart, gut and spirit, as well as your baby's.

What a picture of optimal health, radiant joy, inner calm, beauty, balance, strength and flexibility. These are some of the advantages of regular yoga practice. If you don't do yoga on an ongoing basis, you might just feel so much better if you give it a try, and take some weekly awesome traditional classes with phenomenal teachers, to see which resonate most with you. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Stunning photo of this angel mama @Nikk_kee is by @crystaleee .  “Most people have no idea how good their body is designed to feel.” ~ Kevin Trudeau.

What a picture of optimal health, radiant joy, inner calm, beauty, balance, strength and flexibility. These are some of the advantages of regular yoga practice. If you don't do yoga on an ongoing basis, you might just feel so much better if you give it a try, and take some weekly awesome traditional classes with phenomenal teachers, to see which resonate most with you. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Stunning photo of this angel mama @Nikk_kee is by @crystaleee .  “Most people have no idea how good their body is designed to feel.” ~ Kevin Trudeau.

What a picture of optimal health, radiant joy, inner calm, beauty, balance, strength and flexibility. These are some of the advantages of regular yoga practice. If you don't do yoga on an ongoing basis, you might just feel so much better if you give it a try, and take some weekly awesome traditional classes with phenomenal teachers, to see which resonate most with you. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Stunning photo of this angel mama @Nikk_kee is by @crystaleee . 

Yoga is an ancient self-help science of optimal health and well-being of the body, mind, heart and spirit, now demonstrated by much scientific research, and modern technology has made it much more accessible to so many more people. I am passionate about helping mamas relate to it and make it their own. Regular yoga practice has numerous HUGE benefits in pregnancy, birth, postpartum and beyond - from decreased common discomforts, aches and pains, to increased strength, balance, flexibility and stamina for advancing pregnancy and active birthing, improved ability to relax and cope, decreased inner stress and its toxic effects, enhanced connection with baby, easier labor with less risk of intervention, quicker postpartum recovery, and so much more. It really helps you feel your best physically and emotionally.

Photo by Julia Swyers

Photo by Julia Swyers

Do these mamas look like they are in hard labor? Well they are. They are using their yoga, meditation & breathing skills to help them cope with the waves of intense sensations, by keeping them calm, focused, grounded & strong - all of which eased labor, as they ROCKED their birth!

Whether you are an advanced yogi or never did any yoga before, regular practice of prenatal yoga (yoga modified & specific for pregnancy) has numerous benefits in pregnancy, birth, postpartum & throughout life, & even helps your baby’s physical & mental health & development. Those inner stress hormones are toxic for the both of you, & the inner relaxation biochemicals are like health magic for you & your baby. Pregnancy is actually a great time to start yoga - as you embark on this life - changing journey to birth & becoming a mother. It is not too late to start, and the more you practice, the more these skills become habitual, so you can easily tap into them in labor or any life challenge. Below is one of my favorite books on how prenatal yoga can enhance your journey from pregnancy to birth and mamahood.

Art by Catie Atkinson @spiritysol.

Art by Catie Atkinson @spiritysol.

As a midwife and a practitioner and teacher of yoga, I have seen many women once they become pregnant, use this wake up call to take charge of their health & do what they can to make healthier choices for themselves & their growing families; & as mamas incorporated yoga into their lives, I witnessed even more remarkable improvements in their health, how it was a life saver for them during childbirth, how it eased their postpartum recovery & their ability to take on the challenges of caring for their babies with more equanimity & resilience. Healthy life is far beyond eating clean and exercising, and taking the whole food natural supplements I recommend - although those are real important. 

I love authentic yoga so much I want to encourage all to experience how it thoroughly enhances the health of mind and body. Here are some ways regular practice improves the emotions and quality of life, and in the next yoga post I will focus on all the physical health advantages. - Yoga promotes relaxation, peace of mind, and inner calm which decreases anxiety. - Yoga makes for happier, more positive mood and sense of well-being, which decreases depression. - Yoga opens the heart to compassion, deeper connection with oneself and others, which improves self awareness and relationships; this also results in increased consciousness of destructive lifestyle patterns, and a desire to overcome dysfunctional habits and addictions...and also better sex. - Yoga enhances self esteem, inner emotional strength, resilience, and coping ability, which helps one remain steady with greater equanimity in face of hardship, drama, bad news, unsettling events, suffering and life challenges; it can ultimately lead not only to acceptance of much of life that is not in our control, but also to embracing these experiences as gifts, catalysts for change and personal growth. - Yoga enhances spiritual connection no matter what religion, belief system or faith. - Yoga leads to improved creativity and can be such fun if done just about anytime anywhere, such as on a tree over a lake.  

@infinitelovedoula

@infinitelovedoula

But we can't forget the many physical health advantages. - Yoga eases common discomforts of pregnancy, leads to shorter easier labor & birth, & quicker easier postpartum recovery. - Yoga improves energy & vitality, maintains youthfulness, & eases symptoms of menopause. - Yoga improves sleep & reduces insomnia. -Yoga decreases muscle tension, soreness & pain, & actually eases pain of many chronic conditions. - Yoga reduces inner stress & the illnesses it causes, which constitutes the majority of modern day conditions.- Yoga improves muscle strength, function & tone; it also improves flexibility, balance, coordination & posture, all of which not only improves any athletic performance but also decreases risk of injury. - Yoga improves health of bones, muscles, joints, & cartilage, & reduces risk of problems there, including common affected areas in back & neck.- Yoga improves health of cardiovascular, circulatory, endocrine, gastrointestinal, & respiratory systems, and decreases risk of their related diseases. - Yoga balances metabolism, helps with weight loss, leads to healthier eating, self care & lifestyle, which reduces health problems of obesity, & other conditions from unhealthy habits & addictions. - Yoga boosts immunity to infection & cancer, & decreases risk of inflammatory, autoimmune diseases & allergies. - Yoga improves focus, memory, attention, & sharpness, which decreases age related cognitive decline.

Yoga is not a religion, although it can enhance your spiritual connection whatever your belief system; nor is it just a physical exercise, although that is a wonderful perk. It’s not just for those who can do splits and headstands, but it does increase your flexibility and strength on many levels so you might find yourself doing them one day. It is not just about taking a class either. It can be a part of everything you do! It can be done anywhere, anytime - even in the park, and with your minis. 

If you don't do yoga on an ongoing basis, you might just feel so much better if you give it a try, and take some weekly awesome traditional classes with phenomenal teachers, to see which resonate most with you. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. In between local classes, or if you cannot get to one, there are classes online at yogaglo.com or try out some of these wonderful video classes.

Prenatal Yoga

Element Mind & Body Experience: Prenatal & Postnatal Yoga with Elana Brower  

Prenatal Yoga with Desi Bartlett 

* Prenatal Yoga: Open Your Body, Connect to YourBaby with Mara Branscombe 

Prenatal Yoga for Rejuvenation and Calm with Mara Branscombe  

Prenatal Kundalini Yoga with Akal Khalsa 

The New Method - Baby & Mom Pre Natal Yoga by Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa 

Here is a list of my 10 favorite yoga supplies  - what I use in my own yoga practice at home and when I teach. I share them with you so you can ROCK your regular home yoga practice and have what you may find helpful in labor as well. Many mamas just love the restorative poses with props to sink into and feel supported by, just to relax and recharge after a long busy day.

If I can help a mama who wants more personal attention, to learn yoga on Skype, private, or small group local classes, then why not ?! It’s been beyond awesome to more personally connect and yoga with mamas all over the globe. So, if you are interested in my private, semi-private or actual prenatal and postpartum classes on Skype or in my local studio, click here and I will contact you for more info and scheduling. Classes are geared for healthy pregnant or postpartum mamas with some, little or no previous yoga experience. But an experienced pregnant yogi is always welcome. I look forward to working with each of you!!

When starting anything new, as well as along the journey of developing any set of skills, I am reminded that Gothe said "everything is hard before it is easy"; but I am also encouraged by the words of Max Ehrman, "beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle on yourself". So take baby steps, throw out the negative self judgement, remember we are all on our own unique paths, and our only competition is ourselves. 

Photo by Megan Hancock Photography

Photo by Megan Hancock Photography

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