Online Prenatal Yoga Videos Classes
Prenatal Yoga: How it Supports Expecting Mamas Emotionally and Physically
Pregnancy is a beautiful journey during a woman’s reproductive years that is exhilarating and life changing.
While some women are relatively symptom-free during the journey, others may experience pregnancy-related symptoms that can significantly affect emotional and physical well-being. Physical discomforts associated with pregnancy include nausea and fatigue, swelling due to water retention, and restless leg syndrome. Women may experience nausea (aka morning sickness) with or without vomiting that can range from mild to severe and lead to sleep disturbance and poor appetite. Fatigue in general is a prominent pregnancy-related symptom due to the increase in progesterone circulating through a woman’s body. During pregnancy a hormone called relaxin increases. This hormone is produced by the ovaries and placenta, and functions to “relax” the ligaments in the pelvis and expand the cervix in preparation for childbirth. The increase in relaxin can create a false sense of greater flexibility and result in low back pain and sciatica that was absent prior to pregnancy. These pregnancy-related symptoms can leave a woman to feel emotionally and physically depleted and inadequate as she prepares for childbirth and beyond.
The Benefits of Prenatal Yoga
Yoga for pregnant women can cultivate relaxation and help prepare the mind and body for the birthing experience.
Scientific studies have shown that yoga in general has a positive impact on physical and mental health conditions including low back pain, cardiovascular disease, as well as depression and anxiety. More recently research has shown that prenatal yoga in particular can help to reduce the physical discomforts associated with pregnancy. A prenatal practice can also help to strengthen the uterus and pelvic muscles, improve circulation, and stimulate the spine, all of which support a woman throughout pregnancy and the childbirth experience. In addition, research has shown that pregnant women who are considered high risk and practice prenatal yoga are less susceptible to experiencing hypertension, preeclampsia, and delivery pain. Through its effects on the nervous system, in particular the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for activating the “relaxation response”, prenatal yoga promotes stress reduction by reducing cortisol (stress hormone) levels in our body. From an emotional and psychological perspective, prenatal yoga can be beneficial in targeting symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Prenatal Yoga Offers Modifications Specific to Pregnant Women
The best yoga for pregnant womentakes into consideration the effects of pregnancy on the woman’s body and associated physical changes that may arise during each trimester.
For example, yoga practiced during the first trimester may have an impact on the implantation process of the placenta. Therefore, recommendations for practicing yoga during the first trimester include minimizing abdominal work and deep twists to prevent potential impact on the implantation process. And, certain belly down poses like cobra might be okay as long as direct pressure is not placed on the lower belly. However, poses like bow and locust place direct pressure on the uterus and should be avoided. Second trimester recommendations include spreading feet wide apart to make space for the growing belly and continuing to minimize twists, along with refraining from inversions and supine poses. By the third trimester, women should consider all modifications that focus on making space for the belly and minimizing compression of the belly. An important theme across all trimesters is to listen to your body and to practice with self-compassion, letting go of any attachments that dictate how your practice “should” look. Even if you have a well-established practice prior to pregnancy, you may find that during pregnancy asanas need to be modified to protect your growing belly and to address pregnancy-related discomforts such as nausea, fatigue, and back pain.
The Benefits of Online Prenatal Yoga Classes
Prenatal yoga videos offered through online prenatal yoga classes are a great way to begin or maintain an established yoga practice during pregnancy.
Online prenatal yoga classes may offer additional benefit in that classes are easily accessible whether you are at home or on the road, and can be viewed directly from your electronic devices. A yoga practice can be a great complement to your overall fitness program, with an emphasis on breath and mindfulness directing the movement of your body. Bryan Kest’s Power Yoga Online offers a free 7-day trial where you can access a diverse library of prenatal workout videos to meet your fitness and training needs during pregnancy.
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