The Benefits of Perinatal Yoga
- Mums Tips
- Pregnancy & Birth
- Published on Monday, 02 June 2014 12:37
- Last Updated on 02 June 2014
- 0 Comments
Whether you’re completely new to yoga or consider yourself a master, during pregnancy is the perfect time to practice. Just this month, it has been proven by academics from Newcastle and Manchester Universities that pregnant women who attended a yoga class every week for eight weeks experienced less anxiety compared to those who received normal antenatal treatment, with a single yoga class during pregnancy having the potential to cut anxiety to mothers-to-be by a third. Yoga is the best form of exercise for pregnant women everywhere with so many health benefits for both you and your child. Perinatal yoga is so much more than your usual gym class… it’s a training in deep relaxation and preparation for birth and motherhood.
- Yoga asana (stretching exercises) promote circulation of blood and oxygen throughout the body, relaxing mother’s both body and mind and promoting a sense of general well-being.
- When we practice yoga, the love hormone, Oxytocin is released. Oxytocin’s main functions is preparing the female body for childbirth, stimulating milk production so that baby can nurse, and encouraging the bond between the mom and her newborn baby. Deep breathing warms the body and allows us to release oxytocin. By taking the body through the practice of yoga, we warm the muscles and joints, making the physical body more comfortable and relaxed. By continuing the practice with savasana (deep relaxation) and meditation, we encourage the production of oxytocin even further.
- Pregnant women tend to shift their pelvis forward as a response to the increased weight of their baby bump, which places significant strain on the lower back. Yoga and the correct practice of asana, can help to strengthen the core muscles, resulting in better posture and alleviated lower back pain.
- Yoga strengthens the muscles used when birthing, which will make the entire process easier and less painful.
- Pregnancy and birth also shift the position of the internal and digestive organs, causing problems with digestion such as indigestion, trapped wind and flatulence. Yoga can help to restore healthy digestion and easy any discomfort.
- Practising yoga helps to make the body strong and flexible and also increases energy levels, encourages a positive outlook, help release any tension and makes your pregnancy easier. Yoga can also be effective in rebuilding the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles after birth.
- Focus on breathing is one of the most important benefits of yoga during pregnancy and birth. Learning to breathe properly and to make effective use of breathing techniques can calm the mind, body and soul, even in frightening or high-stress situations such as childbirth.
YogaBellies was set up in Glasgow in 2009 by founder, Cheryl MacDonald. She has taught women from all over the world her YogaBellies teaching techniques and she now has 108 franchisees based across the UK and in Cyprus, Sweden, Greece and South Korea. In September 2013 Cheryl and her husband, Mike, appeared on BBC’s Dragons’ Den where they won investment from Duncan Bannatyne but have since decided to go it alone.
YogaBellies offer a YogaBelles Yang Core Play class which is designed purely for core strengthening and engaging the bandhas or internal yogic lochs (locks.) YogaBelles Yang Core Play sessions comprise the same 19 postures in each session, each asana focused on strengthening your physical and mental core. Yang yoga is the more traditional hatha asana practice that develops muscular strength, stamina, and flexibility.
The movement and repetition of YogaBelles Yang will develop muscular strength and flexibility. This practice is perfect for people looking for a more active practice to energise the mind and body ready for the beach.