Benefits of Prenatal Yoga
Pregnancy is a time of great uncertainty and of great change, and prenatal yoga can be a wonderful tool during this time. It can benefit the mom-to-be physically, mentally and spiritually.
To begin with, the body is undergoing a lot of change during pregnancy. As the baby begins to grow, some of the stretches practiced in a prenatal yoga class can be used to help create space, to help ease the tension this can cause. Stretches and strengthening poses focus on alleviating some of the common discomforts associated with pregnancy, such as low back pain, shoulder tension and swollen feet. Certain poses and breathing techniques can also help to prepare the body for labour.
From a mindfulness perspective, yoga can help one to be more embodied, and therefore to fully experience and become comfortable with the physical changes that are taking place. Some people find that the mindfulness techniques used in prenatal yoga help them to feel more connected with their bodies, and with their babies. Relaxation techniques in a prenatal class can help reduce stress that can be caused by the preparations required for a new baby. During each class, a focus on certain breath work and meditation techniques can bring a sense of calm even during this busy time.
What to Expect in a Prenatal Yoga Class
A typical prenatal yoga class will included some seated stretches, breathing exercises, and standing strengthening poses. You can usually expect the class to move at a slightly slower pace than a typical yoga class, to allow for mindfulness in the movement. There should be plenty of props, like pillows, straps and blocks available, to help modify postures. If you are a regular yoga practitioner, you will recognize many of the poses, however there may be some that are new to you as well.
How to Choose a Prenatal Yoga Class
As with any yoga class, each teacher will have a different background and different techniques to share. To ensure that you are receiving the best instruction, make sure that your teacher possesses the appropriate certifications or experience. In a typical 200 hour yoga teacher training program (YTT), less than 5 hours of instruction are dedicated to prenatal yoga, so it is in your best interests to inquire about additional training or experience. Before beginning prenatal yoga, make sure to speak with your doctor or other prenatal caregiver about whetheryoga is right for you.
Prenatal Yoga at Kinnect Studio
We generally offer prenatal yoga classes in 4-week programs. Pre-registration is required and drop-ins are welcome if space permits. Classes are led by Nicole Allison, a certified prenatal yoga teacher, registered with Yoga Alliance (RPYT). Classes at the studio are welcoming, and perfect for yoga beginners.
Visit nicoleallison.ca to see sessions that are available.