Is Prenatal baby yoga for me?
By Jennica Joyce, MPH, RYT-200®
Most of us know yoga is good for us. As Moms-to-be, we want to give our future babies the best which means taking care of ourselves too. Considering both its physical and stress-relieving benefits, there may not be a more appropriate time to consider incorporating yoga into your life then pregnancy. With all this hype, is it really for you? Let’s check out some details.
What can I expect at a Prenatal Baby Yoga class?
Prenatal Baby Yoga focuses on strengthening, protecting and nurturing the physical and mental muscles involved during pregnancy, labor, and the first months with a new baby. Any person, even those not pregnant or caring for a newborn, can benefit from this gentle approach. Physical poses are sequenced and modifications are provided based on what the student needs to stay safe and receive the intended benefit from each pose. Breathing, words, and sounds are repeated in a way that help students stay mindful and present which are tools that can also be used during times of stress while not in class. Classes lucky enough to have babes present have the added magic of baby energy which is often calming and healing in itself.
Benefits of Prenatal Yoga
Yogis boast multiple positive effects of a regular practice that affect the mind, body, and soul.
The American Pregnancy Association highlights the following benefits:
Increased strength, flexibility and endurance
Decreased lower back pain
Decreased carpal tunnel syndrome
Reduced risk of preterm labor
Lowered risk of intrauterine growth restriction (condition that slows the baby’s growth)
Attending a group class has the added benefit of getting to know and bonding with other pregnant and new mammas that are going through similar physical and emotional changes. Friendships can blossom that continue into parenthood.
How do I prepare for a prenatal baby yoga class?
No experience is necessary to attend a prenatal baby yoga class. Both experienced and new yogis can successfully participate. A willingness to listen to your body and be open to a new experience is essential. Any health concerns should be discussed with your primary care provider before starting which would apply to any new physical fitness routine. We recommend bringing a yoga mat or beach towel, water to stay hydrated, and pillow, or two for props and relaxation.
For those in the high desert that want to join local prenatal baby yoga classes, check out www.desertbirthwellness.com/prenatal-postnatal-yoga/ for the most current schedule.
About the Author
Jennica Joyce graduated with a B.A. in Human Development and Masters in Public Health and is a certified Yoga Teacher. After experiencing the power of yoga during and following her first pregnancy, she started teaching prenatal baby yoga at Desert Birth & Wellness in Joshua Tree. She enjoys hiking, laughing, and spending time with family. She shares many of her adventures on Instagram as @JennicaJoyceYoga and at www.JennicaJoyceYoga.com