Updated: May 16
Pregnancy yoga (sometimes called prenatal or antenatal yoga) is a combination of breathing techniques, physical yoga poses and relaxation.
There are so many fabulous benefits to practicing pregnancy yoga whether you are already an experienced yogi or completely new to yoga.
The main benefits of Pregnancy Yoga are:
Learning the best breathing techniques for relaxation, labour and birth
Learning different positions and movements for labour and birth
Reduction in depression, stress and anxiety levels
Increased feelings of calm, peace and serenity
Less likely to need pain relief during labour and birth
Less likely to have an emergency caesarean section
Connection, support and friendship with other pregnant mums
Helps you to stay fit, strong and active
Learning relaxation techniques that help calm you and your baby
Helping with different aches, pains and common pregnancy complaints
A chance to switch off and to create some special time for you and your baby
Research has also confirmed additional (perhaps less obvious) benefits:
Improved birth weight for your baby
Reduced risk of pregnancy induced high blood pressure
Reduced risk of preterm/premature labour
(Narendran et al - 2005)
A systematic review of many pregnancy/prenatal yoga studies confirmed the following benefits:
Reduced risk of obstetric complications
Lower pain levels and increased enjoyment of labour
Improved mental health
(Kawanishi et al 2015)
Practicing yoga when you're pregnant:
Always make sure your yoga teacher knows that you’re pregnant as certain poses need to be avoided and some poses will need to be modified. Where possible, try to attend a specialist pregnancy/prenatal yoga class for maximum benefits.
Alison Fiddler at www.yogapanacea.com has been teaching super-friendly pregnancy yoga classes since 2010 and was a midwife for 22 years. Alison combines lots of birth preparation information into her pregnancy classes so you know how to use all your pregnancy yoga techniques as you prepare for the birth of your baby. Alison teaches classes online and in Southport, UK and also teaches hypnobirthing and birth preparation workshops for you and your birth partner/s.