I’m a strong believer in everyone doing yoga, but especially moms (and soon-to-be moms.) I practiced yoga during both of my pregnancies (and afterwards) and experienced several benefits. Here are my top 10:
- Being mentally and physically stronger Yoga’s a total body workout. And it’s not easy – you may even sweat a little! By getting through something challenging physically, you’re making yourself strong mentally as well.
- Improving flexibility You prepare your hips for the stretching necessary during birth. Life with kids is also easier if you can bend and pick them up with ease.
- Developing a deeper connection to your body You start to listen and trust what your body tells you, which really helps with giving birth.
- Eating better You’re not gonna wanna eat a burger after yoga! Studies have shown that people who exercise regularly have better eating habits. And the decreased stress levels associated with yoga make you less prone to eat emotionally.
- Practicing for birth Yoga teaches you to breathe through discomfort, which will help you get through contractions when giving birth. And possibly reduce your need for interventions.
- Being able to exercise late in pregnancy As long as your doctor says it’s ok and you modify where needed, yoga can be practiced right up until you deliver.
- Being able to workout sooner after delivering You don’t have to wait the 6 weeks for you doctors ok to start some simple, gentle stretches after birth when you feel ready.
- Less back aches and leg cramps during pregnancy Yoga improves your circulation and keeps your muscles strong. Stretching your back and calf muscles regularly decreases these common discomforts of pregnancy.
- Teaching yourself to relax and be gentle with yourself Being pregnant can be an anxious experience and is definitely a time that we need to be gentle with ourselves. Yoga teaches us to relax, which will calm you during pregnancy and will help you to relax in between contractions during delivery. New moms also need time to slow down and relax, as well as be gentle and patient with our new bodies as we regain strength.
- Releasing tension in neck and shoulders from breastfeeding Nursing is tough on our bodies and with the loss of strong core muscles during pregnancy, we are often hunching over, causing more strain in the neck and shoulders. Yoga releases all of these tensions and helps build back a stronger core.
I know that’s 10 reasons, but I still have 2 more (and they’re probably the best ones!):
- You feel amazing How awesome is that during pregnancy, to actually feel good? And even more important when you’re a mom.
- Time just for you You need time to remember that you’re more than a mom. And that you need to to take care of yourself too.
I hope that encourages you to do more yoga, or try it if you haven’t yet.