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  • Liz

Pregnancy yoga - how can it help?

Yoga is a powerful practice that can help all people live a calm, contented life. For more details about yoga as a practice please see my blog post "What is yoga?"

Pregnancy is an exciting time full of change, plans for the future and day dreams of meeting baby for the first time. However it can also be a challenging time, and pregnant women will be faced with their changing bodies, changing relationships with those around them, changing roles in life. It can be a very anxious time for some women, due to physical, emotional and social reasons. There are also common physical pregnancy ailments which can make day to day life for mums to be uncomfortable and difficult.

The good news is, pregnancy yoga can help! The Asana (physical postures) can help relieve the aches and pains of pregnancy such as pelvic girdle pain, sciatica, lower back pain, neck and shoulder pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome. As well as practicing the poses in class mums can be taught safe ways to practice at home and incorporate good posture and positioning in every day life. Pelvic floor exercises are key way to help stabilise the pelvis and protect the birth canal in preparation for birth, and these can be taught in class and practiced safely at home.

Pregnancy is also a time for a rapid change in hormones. Progesterone and oestrogen are produced by the body in high levels in order to ensure a health pregnancy, but these also act on a mum to be's brain and mood swings can be common. Hormones can also trigger the body's sympathetic nervous system or our "fight, flight and fright" response, causing anxiety and elevated heart rate and blood pressure. Pranayama and Savasana, the breathing and relaxation exercises in a pregnancy yoga class can help mums to learn how to calm themselves in times of stress and worry.

The Asana, Pranayama and relaxation techniques learnt in class can also help mums to be during birthing, whether they have an active vaginal birth, induction, epidural or Caesarean section, and can help mums feel confident and in control of the birth of their baby. Attending a pregnancy yoga class gives mums to be dedicated time to connect with their baby and to their changing body. It also gives women an opportunity to meet other new mums in their area and form life long friendships.

I'll talk in detail about specific techniques in future blog posts, and I'll also be recording some short tutorials to by YouTube channel which you can subscribe to - so watch this space!

In person pregnancy classes start on Moreton Hall in June, booking is open now.

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