When I found out I was pregnant, I understood that it would be like training for a marathon and not like running a sprint. It was clear that in order for me to achieve the natural birth I wanted and to ensure a healthy body pre- and postpartum, I would have to start now - and I did, and am so grateful for it. I started off slow with small walks and hikes, and then added in my daily squats, and finally my prenatal yoga.
The prenatal yoga is what really hit the nail on the head. After a month of prenatal yoga, I felt like a completely different woman, not only physically but mentally.
As mentioned, the benefits are not just physical but also mental. The first thing I noticed was a reduction in stress & anxiety. I now felt more able to handle all the anxiety that was coming my way, from being 4000 km away from my family to being confined to my home due to a global pandemic (COVID-19) - and I was finally able to wrap my head around preparing for motherhood. Prenatal yoga really helped me to be mindful and re-taught me how to truly breathe: two techniques that will definitely come in handy during labour.
Physically I noticed an increase in my strength and flexibility, especially in my legs. Prenatal yoga is also great for all the pesky back and shoulder pain that comes with pregnancy, and there has even been evidence of it aiding Mommas experiencing nausea. Fortunate for me, I did not experience morning sickness, whether that is due to my prenatal yoga or not I don't know, but I'm happy never the less!
If you're starting yoga for the first time while pregnant, don't be surprised if you feel as flexible as a Cirque du Soleil acrobat! I warn you to be mindful not to overstretch, because this feeling of flexibility is due to something called Relaxin. Relaxin is a hormone produced by the ovaries and placenta. It plays an important role in preparing your body for childbirth by relaxing the ligaments in the pelvis, and softening and widening the cervix. So again, be mindful to not overstretch as this can lead to injuries instead of benefits.
Don't ever be discouraged or think that it's too late - anytime is a great time to start, all it can do is benefit you!
Your body is designed to grow that little baby of yours and it’s a tiring job to do, so there will be days when your body is going to ask to just chill for the day and that’s ok! Don't ever force yourself.
There are nothing but benefits and rewards linked to prenatal yoga (or any form of exercise) during your pregnancy. Of course, remember to always consult your GP first, to stay hydrated and listen to your body.
Most of all, enjoy this time, as it's the closest you'll ever be to your baby.
Get that body moving. A healthy body & a healthy mind brings a happy baby.
Namaste & Start Living Simpl Today,