Y is for Yoga
Yoga is my favorite form of exercise, and while everyone's preference for physical activity is different, I wanted to share a bit about the practice and why I love and teach it. Yoga combines active poses with mindful breathing, teaching you how to use your breath during times of stress to relax. Learning how to use your breath is incredibly useful for labor, and can even help with stress and anxiety in day to day life.
I once had a wise yoga teacher tell me in the middle of a beautiful practice, "This ease you're finding through difficulty right now, is available to you all the time. It's right there for you."
I found it as powerful then as I do today. When you find the ability to have ease through difficulty, you feel unstoppable. You ARE unstoppable. To translate this into birth terms, when you are experiencing contractions, you can call upon this deep well of strength you have found inside and been accessing through your practice.
Benefits of Prenatal Yoga:
Improved posture, less back pain
Decreased carpal tunnel syndrome
Increased stamina and strength
Reduced risk of preterm labor
Less morning sickness
Lowers blood pressure, better circulation
Increases positive birth and newborn outcomes
Enhances mindfulness and connection with your baby
When you first try yoga, start out slowly and practice to your comfort level. Avoid twisting, lying flat on your back, and balancing poses for safety. Also, avoid straining your abdominal muscles during a plank pose. Too much tension can lead to Diastasis Recti, a separation of the abdominal muscles. To make planks easier, let your knees rest on the floor.