Prenatal yoga offers both physical and mental benefits
by Adrienne Eppner, E-RYT500
Many of us know the obvious benefits of prenatal yoga, including:
• Alleviates discomforts (improves circulation and elimination, helps reduce swelling, reduces stress)
• Helps moms remain fit, toned, and strong
• Appears to play a part in an easier birth experience
• Improves body awareness, body appreciation and body trust
• Focuses on the specific needs of pregnant women and provides a safe and nurturing environment
What you may not realize is that one of the most important benefits is the bonding between the new mothers. In yoga it’s call “sangha,” which means community. The sangha is an important part of a prenatal class because these special classes are not just about yoga. These classes help to give women a bonding experience so they can encourage one another and so they feel they are not alone. Sometimes this may be the only support a woman has. Women, especially first time mothers (or mothers with a challenging previous experience), can be scared and need a lot of encouragement. In a prenatal class women are encouraged to share every week how they are feeling and what is going on in their lives, both physically and mentally because women do not instinctively know what is going on in the changing bodies. Some of my happiest moments as a prenatal teacher occur after the class when the mom’s are talking together and the “veteran” moms (second, third or fourth time!) give advice and support to the first time moms. They come back and share that the get together after their babies are born and go for walks on the bike path or have “playdates” with their new babies! So prenatal yoga is so much more then feeling good in your body, you can build life long friendships for you and your baby!
Adrienne’s next Prenatal Yoga session begins May 21st at Club Fit Jefferson Valley.