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3 Reasons To Practice Prenatal Yoga

Updated on September 8, 2019

Less than a month before giving birth, I was doing yoga in the park!

Strength, focus, and flexibility? Yoga is the way to go!

I don’t think that I can possibly overstate my belief in the benefits of prenatal yoga during pregnancy (and beyond). Back in January 2015, I decided that I wanted to take my 200-hour certification to teach yoga, rushed to enroll, and then promptly found out that I was pregnant with my second child. I was going to be taking the training toward the end of the pregnancy. I firmly believe that practicing yoga so diligently during those months made all the difference. I finished the training in August, and had my baby girl in September.

3 Reasons To Practice Prenatal Yoga

1. A Healthier, More Comfortable Pregnancy

Compared with my first pregnancy, I felt better and more energetic, I gained less weight (in a healthy way), and I enjoyed more peace of mind. Physically, it was more than just being in better shape. I mean, I definitely was working hard, and that led to feeling stronger and more flexible. Also, gaining less weight meant that even though I was getting heavier throughout pregnancy, my increased muscle was more than a match for it and it felt like I wasn’t gaining at all. I also improved my balance, which is so very important during a time when your body is changing both weight and shape faster than usual.

2. A Better Birthing Experience

When the big day came, I found that it was easier for me to manage contractions and stay happily excited. I stretched deeply and meditated through the surges, a completely different experience from my first birth. (During my first pregnancy I had been fairly sedentary other than taking walks.) Now, I’m not going to pretend that I sailed through with no discomfort, but having experienced one delivery without this type of preparation, I can tell you that it was much easier this time around.

Knowing more about my body and how to relieve pressure was invaluable, but the level of study I’d had also prepared me to be better able to focus my mind. I was able to manage my contractions by beginning to deeply focus on one point (I chose to observe the way my hair floated like a mermaid’s in the water of the birthing tub). The only time that stopped working was right at the end, when she actually came out, and I was prepared to deal with it having come to that point in a more relaxed way.

3. A More Comfortable Recovery

When you’re getting back on your feet after having a human come out of your body, it’s much easier to bounce back when you’re coming from a healthier place to begin with. Not only is it physically easier, but I found that I felt more accepting of my body and respectful of my postpartum limitations. Meditation was easier than it had been prior to tying it in with my yoga practice, and that was instrumental in helping to relax and cope with stress. I also found that practicing yoga led me to an interest in Ayurveda, which led me to looking into more restorative ways of eating.

I recommend yoga to pretty much everyone in any phase of life, but I was truly amazed by my physical, mental, and psychological responses to practicing yoga while pregnant.

© 2019 Myra Breen


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