Imagine having a tool that empowers you during pregnancy, lifts you up with freakishly abundant stamina, and attunes your energy to the growing life inside of you.
And this tool can be used anytime, anywhere.
Would you use it?
Of course you would! And luckily, you totally can.
Prenatal yoga is a powerful tool in making the most out of a woman’s pregnancy and preparing a woman for her upcoming role as a mother.
Although your yoga practice will change significantly as you progress through your pregnancy, the benefits will increase exponentially. The movement may be slower during pregnancy, but the gifts that both mother and child will receive during prenatal yoga still yield exceptionally high results.
Soon, I promise that you won’t be so concerned with flipping upside down in advanced poses so much as connecting with your babe on an intimate spiritual level.
Yoga, being the powerful force of magic that it is, offers an undeniable laundry list of benefits for all, especially expecting mothers.
Here are some of my 10 favorite reasons to try prenatal yoga:
1. Mamma Needs A Minute
With excitement often comes chaos. Parents-to-be often find themselves inundated with itineraries and agendas while prepping for the baby’s arrival.
Shopping for the nursery, planning the baby shower, baby trapping the house…
…it can quickly get out of control and become overwhelming. (Believe me, I’ve been there.)
But you know what? Mamma needs a minute.
She needs a minute to breathe, a minute to stretch, and a minute to dedicate attention to her body, mind, and soul. Showing up on the mat even if it’s only for a minute can be grounding during a time that is most definitely not grounded.
2. The Delivery Will Be Easier
One of the most notable physical benefits of yoga during pregnancy is the way your practice can help create a strong pelvic floor. A lengthened, stretched and stable pelvis and hip region will not only reduce a lot of the aches and pains that come with pregnancy as your body stretches to accommodate the growing babe, it will also facilitate an easier birthing process.
And that alone is worth every minute spent on the mat.
3. You’ll Meet New Friends
Community is so important in the human experience, pregnant or otherwise. It’s how we create meaning out of our lives and how we check in to make sure that we are not losing our minds.
This is especially true for pregnancy.
Working through something as profound as pregnancy can be challenging and sometimes scary. Having a community of other expecting mothers can be a game-changer for your pregnancy experience.
You can bounce ideas, questions, and concerns off each other and navigate your yoga practice with the guidance of more seasoned yogis.
And believe me, you’ll want to check in with someone who is going through the same things as you when you accidentally fart in an unassuming yoga posture (thank you, hormones).
4. Your Body And Mind Will Be Fit For Delivery
Exercising both the body and mind during pregnancy is essential to staying fit, both during and after delivery. By strengthening your muscles as your body grows, you will ensure that your body is fit enough to handle the delivery.
I mean, it takes a lot of strength and extra breathing to push the baby out. Don’t you want your body to be capable of doing so?
Not only that, but all of the mindfulness that comes with a diligent yoga practice can help your mind stay calm and clear when times get especially tough.
By preparing your body and mind for this transformative experience, you are allowing yourself the space to enjoy it. And isn’t all that any of us want, anyway?
5. Say Goodbye To The Baby Weight Faster
First things first, your body is a machine that is growing an entire human being. It’s crazy strong, unspeakably beautiful, and a force to be reckoned with.
Even so, sometimes things move into different shapes and places, making us mommas a little self-conscious about it all.
While I want to tell you to not worry about it because you just created life, I also get it. Many of us just want to drop that baby weight as soon as the baby pops out.
Staying committed to a regular yoga practice during pregnancy will help you do exactly that and in a healthy, non-obsessive way. By focusing on strength and flexibility throughout your pregnancy, your body will be able to find its way back to its non-pregnant shape more easily once you give birth.
6. Get An All Natural Pregnancy Glow
You always hear about that elusive pregnancy glow that many mothers attribute to the glistening sweat that comes with all of that morning sickness. But what if your pregnancy glow came from all of the energy and peace you had during pregnancy, instead?
Prenatal yoga provides you with the unique opportunity to bring together your mind, body, and spirit in one beautiful experience. It allows you to safely get to know your body and explore the limits of your mind.
And when you fall in love with the experience of pregnancy in your mind, body, and spirit, you will undoubtedly glow.
7. Ease The Aches And Pains
Many of the aches and pains that come with pregnancy are caused by the stretching muscles and ligaments that are moving to make space for your growing baby. Yoga helps you to strengthen and stretch these areas so that they don’t hurt quite so much as they shift in your body.
Not only that, but the mindfulness that comes with yoga helps keep you from falling down the rabbit-hole of fear-based thoughts and irritations. Rather than focusing on the aches and pains or the lack of sleep you seem to be getting, your mind becomes more attuned to the present moment and the mind-blowing miracle that you are growing inside of you.
8. Promote Connection With Your Baby
Whether you’re aware of it or not, you are deeply connected to your baby. According to Kundalini yoga, the mother and baby share the same aura from conception through the first few years of life!
Prenatal yoga teaches you how to be present for both yourself and your baby during pregnancy so that you can become beautifully and intimately connected.
After all, yoga is the yoking of mind and body. With prenatal yoga, it is the yoking of baby and mamma.
9. Adapt With Grace
It’s no secret that your body goes through some crazy changes during pregnancy. With all the shifts, cravings, and mood swings it’s helpful to make it to your mat for that gentle reminder to accept and adapt to change with grace.
A mindful practice allows you to truly appreciate all of the changes that you’re going through without judging yourself too harshly.
Mindset is one of my major focuses in my prenatal yoga course because a healthy mindset toward your pregnancy can completely transform your experience. Rather than allowing it to be something that happens to you, let it be something that you get to explore and experience.
That, my friends, helps you adapt with grace.
10. Strengthen Your Mental Health
Birth is beautiful, but it’s also a shock to the mother’s hormonal schedule. Many women experience depression and anxiety both throughout the pregnancy and afterward.
While yoga can’t take the place of professional help, it can certainly strengthen your mind by preventing you from following those negative thought patterns that come with depression and anxiety.
Prenatal yoga is a powerful tool that every woman should use. It transforms the entire experience from something that is happening to you into something that you get to wholeheartedly experience. If you’d like to see how beautiful of an experience it can be with prenatal yoga, then come join me in my Pregnant and Powerful course!
Rashmi sahu is the founder of Up ‘Vangmay Yoga, an online yoga and meditation community empowering students to personalize their practice and ignite their best life – on and off the mat. She’s instructed at top studios, companies like Gold Gym and IT Sigma, and leads the most interactive Online Yoga Teacher Training program. She teaches to a social media following of over 45 people.