If 2020 has shown us anything, it’s how important your health and wellbeing is. Staying active, eating well and relaxation are key to your physical and mental health. When you’re pregnant, your baby is completely relying on you so it’s even more important to take it seriously.
The experts all agree: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in the UK and The Australasian College of Sports Medicine all say that moderate-intensity exercise is important for pregnant women.
Yoga is the best all-round form of prenatal exercise and stress-relief which is why it’s recommended by so many Midwives and Doctors. When practiced correctly yoga is safe and beneficial for both mum and baby.
This guest blog is written by Caroline Bagga, a registered Senior Yoga Teacher and the Founder of Mother Nurture Yoga, Australia’s leading pregnancy yoga experts.
Here’s just some of the ways that prenatal yoga can help you:
There is often time to chat with the other ladies after the class to share your experiences, tips and form new friendships. Being a new mum can be isolating so these friendships are important.
So what exactly happens in a pregnancy yoga class? A typical class includes meditation, breathing, yoga poses and relaxation. It’s a great combination of getting a gentle work out – stretching and strengthening, relaxing and preparing for labour and birth.
Perhaps you did some yoga a long time ago, or you’re a complete beginner and are nervous about joining a class because you’re not very flexible, or you’re not sure what to expect. Don’t worry, you’re not alone! In fact many women try yoga for the first time when they are pregnant. Choose a specific pregnancy yoga class with a qualified and experienced teacher.
“When is it safe to start?” is one of the most common questions. Many ladies choose to wait until after the 12 week scan but the sooner the better before your bump gets too big! If in doubt, discuss your specific circumstances with the instructor.
Here are 3 Pregnancy Yoga poses for you to try now:
- Child’s Pose (Balasana) – Bring your knees wide and your feet together, sit back on your heels, rest your head on the mat, or a block/your hands. Send the breath into your back as you surrender down to the mat. This is a very grounding and relaxing pose, as well as a good hip opener. It can release tension from your lower back.
- Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana) – Bring the soles of your feet together and let your knees drop down to the sides. Sitting up on a blanket/towel can help to create extra length in the spine. Hold onto your ankles, take your elbows out towards your knees and keeping your spine straight to allow space for your baby, begin to come forwards. Relax your shoulders. Spend 5 breaths or more here. This is a great hip opener and increases circulation to the pelvis.
- Seated Side Stretch – Sit in easy cross-legged. Take your left hand out to the side and as you inhale raise your right arm. Get length through both sides of the waist before coming over into a side stretch to the left. Open your chest to the ceiling and turn to look up. Send the breath into your right lung. Take 3-5 breaths here then swap sides. This pose is great for stretching the sides of the body, creating more space for your internal organs which become compressed during pregnancy, especially your lungs, and opening the front of the body.
Caroline Bagga is mum to three beautiful girls aged 8, 6 and 4. She is the Founder of Mother Nurture Yoga, Australia’s leading Pregnancy Yoga experts. Check out the timetable to find a class near you, or join us online with live virtual classes: www.mothernurtureyoga.com.au