Lately there has been so much talk about the power of intention. Some of the greatest teachers known in the world talk about it. Think Deepak Chopra. Books like, “The Secret” clue us all in to this profound message. We can read “A New Earth” to gain great wisdom and enlightenment. Even mega superstars like Oprah Winfrey have something to say about the phenomenon of realizing truth and power to transform ourselves with just a simple thought.
Yoga has been the teacher of such secrets for thousands of years. It teaches us the connections between the mind, body, and even the spirit. Women (and couples) who seek yoga while pregnant are on their road to empowerment during the birthing process. Through breath work and meditation, each woman gains knowledge and experience to uncover her own strength. While yoga can be transformative, so can pregnancy. When the two go hand in hand, the results can be truly amazing!
Through yoga, a woman may realize her truth and find her true intention- and that is where astonishing changes may occur. She can replace her deepest wounds and traumas with love and joy, making it a way of life. She can literally change her baby’s karma simply by adopting a positive attitude and allowing herself to live in that place of love, which in turn will change how her baby will grow up to see the world! “As the woman lives, so she shall birth,” (Gurmukh Khalsa). Yoga can literally help a woman to overcome fears and connect to her feminine wisdom allowing her to tap in to her intuition, producing wisdom and a sense of safety during childbirth. Imagine birthing a baby with that beautiful sense of “knowing” and feeling in charge of the process- for many women, it is a force to be reckoned with!
But… if you are someone who isn’t into all the talk about intentions and change, you still may find prenatal yoga highly valuable. Since the practice of yoga encourages stretching, mental centering and breathing techniques, pregnant women and their babies benefit left and right. For example, studies have shown that prenatal yoga can improve sleep, reduce anxiety and stress, increase strength and endurance of the muscles needed for childbirth, decrease low back pain, reduce nausea, decrease carpal tunnel syndrome and headaches, reduce shortness of breath, and even decrease preterm labor or pregnancy induced hypertension (MayoClinic). This link to the Huffington Post will lead you to what some others are saying. Plus, an added bonus is, if you choose to take a prenatal class, you automatically have a built in support network of other pregnant women! Women who take yoga together find reasons to celebrate together, sharing stories and experiences. They help each other. As a result, they’re likely to develop friendships during the course of their pregnancy that will continue throughout their lives (Gurmukh Khalsa).
You may be wondering exactly what someone may experience in a prenatal yoga class. In a prenatal class, it would not be unusual if you are taught to focus on your breathing, inhaling and exhaling slowly and deeply through your nose. You may even learn different techniques of breathing that would assist you during labor. A typical class may entail some gentle stretching of the body to increase range of motion and warm you up. You would likely also experience various postures (which may also be called poses or asanas) that may require you to sit, lie down or stand. These poses are helping you to gain strength, balance and a greater range of motion. Most classes will provide props such as blankets or cushions to give you support and comfort. Following each yoga class there is a period of rest (a.k.a. savasana) where you will lie down, relax your muscles and allow your heart rate to return to normal. It is a time for reflection, becoming self aware and embracing an inner calmness.
As you can see, yoga has many profound qualities, and no matter what you are looking for (transformation, enlightenment, or simply a little exercise), you are probably going to leave the class feeling much better than before you entered. So if you are considering prenatal yoga, definitely give it a try. You may have classes available at a studio near you, or you may seek a video to try at home.
If you have questions about prenatal yoga, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Until then, Namaste!