A Guide To Prenatal YOGA & Postnatal YogA

A GUIDE TO PRENATAL YOGA & POSTNATAL YOGA

Yoga During Pregnancy & After Birth.

Yoga gives you a unique opportunity to integrate profound changes which can beautifully fuel and ease the transition into parenthood.

 

During pregnancy you are experiencing an intense and accelerated pace of change and transformation into parenthood. This can be an overwhelming experience for many birth-givers and the prenatal team at School Yoga Institute is passionate about promoting a regular practice of yoga during and after pregnancy.

 

Practicing Yoga throughout your pregnancy can be a key ingredient to cultivating a physically, emotionally and energetically healthy pregnancy, birth and recovery. A yoga practice in your pregnancy opens the doors of communication with your body and baby which has profound benefits for integration and bonding after birth.

WHEN TO BEGIN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE?

There’s no time like the present, though always be sure to listen to your body’s needs! Whether you’re an established yogi looking to adapt their existing practice or you’ve come to yoga at the start of your pregnancy seeking a specialized prenatal yoga class where the teacher has curated the class mindfully for pregnant people is highly recommended.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PRENATAL YOGA & YOUR REGULAR PRACTICE

Though many experienced yogi’s may feel they’re able to keep up their regular practice in the first and even second trimesters, Prenatal Yoga & Postnatal yoga classes are more than a space for physical practice.

 

Pre & Post Natal classes are an intentional space for those going through the transformation of birth to come together in support and strength. For millennials we have supported each other through pregnancy, birth and parenthood. So, why should the modern era be any different?

 

Prenatal Yoga & Post Natal yoga offer a social circle of people who are all experiencing pregnancy and the stages beyond birth who can guide and support one another.

 

Not only is a prenatal yoga class a space where you can connect to your body and baby, it’s also a container where you can freely be among your peers. A space for solidarity, strength and support.

 

Generally speaking a prenatal yoga class takes a meditative approach to sequencing with a gentler, less strenuous series of postures and a greater use of props to support the body in poses. All designed to foster connection between you, your body and your baby.

 

Don’t be fooled though Pre & Post natal yoga works wonders on specifically targeting the hips, and abdomen muscles in preparing the body for the process of birth and postnatally sequences are designed to connect the body, rebuild strength and adapt to a new way of being in physical form.

BENEFITS OF YOGA DURING PREGNANCY

Supporting and connecting to your changing body

The word yoga translates roughly to union. Yoga is the practice of turning inward and tuning into the body. A regular yoga practice you will begin to recognise and learn how to support and accept the changings of your emotional, physical and energetic state. A place to come and be as you are.

 

Regardless of whether you have an existing practice or not, in a prenatal yoga class you will be guided through safe practices to stretch and strengthen your changing body. This is important as the hormonal changes you are experiencing include increased flexibility, as well as a myriad of other aches and pains. Guided in class you will learn to ease, support, tone and most importantly love your changing body.

Toning pelvic floor, strengthening the body and physically preparing for birth

Pre & post natal yoga specifically focuses on the pelvic floor, hip and abdominal muscles to prepare and then reconnect the body for and after birth. Becoming aware and engaged with this area of your body during pregnancy creates a relationship that will aid labor. Building and maintaining muscle tone during pregnancy can also help minimize the aches and pains of those nine months, and may harbor an easier recovery after birth.

TRUST

Now here’s the truth behind what an established yoga practice can give you in your pregnancy.

 

Trust.

 

Sounds simple doesn’t it? Yet this fundamental knowledge of the strength and grace of our bodies is so often easily forgotten. Your body is made for pregnancy, labor and parenthood. The disassociation from our bodys that is common in the modern world can cause issues during labor; the ‘fear - tension - pain’ cycle is common in labor. A fear of what could happen or of pain, leads to holding tension and feeling unable to surrender to the rhythms of labor, this tension holds in the physical body creating pain. This cycle takes the birth-giver out of a place where you can remain present and calm to recognise the waves of sensation and opening as they occur.

 

A regular yoga practice can give you methods such as deep mindful breathing, and physical movements which help you to maintain presence in your body allowing you to stay loose and relaxed. In addition, in the period before birth, your practice will build a feeling of grounding and ease in your body, this in turn develops a trust in the process of labor that your body instinctively already knows what to do. This building inner trust will also support you in the early unfamiliar stages of parenthood.

Other benefits of a regular yoga practice in pregnancy include:

  • Improved sleep: A physical class can help you relax, concentrate, and get centered in yourself for better sleep.
  • Reduced stress and anxiety: By taking the time to fill up your cup you’ll feel nourished and able to take on the pressures of your day to day life again.
  • Decreased nausea, headaches, shortness of breath, back pain: Practicing yoga can help you realize where you are out of alignment, physically and emotionally. This has a tremendous effect on the entire body and a regular practice can help to realign your head, neck, and spine into a position that will be more comfortable for your entire body.
  • Boosts inmunity: Practicing yoga increases the drainage of your lymph nodes which helps your body fight infections.
  • Sense of community: One of the biggest benefits birth-givers experience in joining a prenatal yoga class is the sense of community and sistership with the women in their classes.

RETURNING TO YOUR PRACTICE AFTER BIRTH

Postpartum life is a whirlwind to say the least. Here at SYI we have a saying postpartum is for life.

 

Your world has changed drastically, and a familiar yoga community can be the place for you to feel held and supported. When considering returning to your practice, go at your own pace. Some people may return to a form of physical practice just a few short weeks after birth, some it may be months.

 

What is true is that for all birth-givers their practice is never the same. There is a new found awareness of the strength, grace and power of the body, in a post natal yoga class you can honor and embrace this.

 

Generally it is advised that you return to physical practices around 6 to 8 weeks after the birth (12 weeks for a c-section), likely this is when you’re feeling more yourself again in your body. In the first weeks and months after birth exploring your practice, go gently. Imagine you are rediscovering your body for the first time. Increased hormones can make returning to your practice incredibly emotive which is where the safe container of a prenatal yoga can be vital. Remember you also still have that hormone relaxin coursing through your body making you extra flexible so pay attention to your limits.

 

A physical practice will also aid in the physical recovery from birth helping to stabilize and strengthen the pelvic floor, engage the core abdominal muscles and support the muscles of the hips. As your practice evolves you’ll notice you are able to incorporate more strenuous sequences and postures again all alight with this knowledge of the strength of yourself.

GENTLE REMINDERS IN PRE & POST NATAL YOGA

  • Embrace listening to your body
  • Avoid comparing your practice to anybody elses (including your own previus one)
  • Embrace slower practices
  • Avoid inversion postures and twists
  • Embrace connecting to your body & baby
  • Avoid setting unrealistic expectations
  • Embrace sharing the experience with your community

The biggest gift Prenatal Yoga & Postnatal Yoga can give you is a sense of community, you are not alone in this remarkable journey. Your yoga community is there to support you as you do them as you expand into this new realm of being together. At School Yoga Institute we are passionate about building a community of care and support for pregnant people.

 

If you’re interested in taking the next step in your own journey in becoming a certifed Prenatal Yoga & Post Natal Yoga Teacher check out our latest offerings.

Blessings & Namaste,

April, & the pre & post natal SYI family

Wherever you are on your journey as a yoga teacher, we're here to help! If we can support you in any way please contact us!

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