Have you considered prenatal yoga as a way of keeping fit in pregnancy?

Prenatal yoga classes are more popular than ever before and a great way to keep in shape during your pregnancy. Judging by the snaps of actress Mila Kunis on the way to prenatal yoga class, we can confirm this appears to be true!

Coupled with regular walking to ensure you keep up with your cardiovascular exercise, this is a great physical activity to think about choosing, as it helps to keep you limber, tones your muscles, and improves your balance and circulation. Yoga has the added benefit of helping you to learn to breathe deeply and relax- two important skills to acquire before going in to labour and ok, for motherhood too!

There are lots of classes offering prenatal yoga, maybe take a look on NetMums to see if there are any near to you. They are a great way of meeting other mums-to-be and you will probably feel happier if you are being taught by an instructor, especially if you are not used to practicing yoga.

So what are the benefits?

Self Centre! As your baby grows and your bump gets bigger, your balance can be affected, this can also be a result of general tiredness too! The breathing you learn in yoga class can help you listen to your body and keep you centered!
Keep strong! Yoga poses also help to strengthen your hips, back, arms and shoulders. Very useful for lugging all that baby equipment, plus baby, once your child is born too!
Stress Buster! Our bodies obviously change and become under a certain amount of stress as the pregnancy continues. As our abdomen and breasts enlarge our upper back and chest can experience more tension, due to the increased weight and pressure on them. Yoga can help to relieve this tension in the lower back, hip, chest, upper back, neck and shoulders.
Keeping calm and carrying on! Deep breathing is known to have a calming effect on your nervous system and aids relaxation, promoting good digestion and better sleep. Great preparation for the main event! As we said before, the breathing you learn in yoga can really help during the labour itself. As you inhale, you acknowledge the tension that is felt, as you deeply exhale, you let go of the tension. Keeping calm and relaxed during the birth is good for you and your baby.
Bonding with the bump! Prenatal yoga allows you the time to focus your sole attention on the baby growing inside you. Each breath and pose helps you to connect and become even more aware, of the what’s going on, on the other side of your bump! (Ok, we hear you... the indigestion, morning sickness and kicks are also subtle and not so subtle reminders!)
Make new friends! A great way to meet other mums-to-be!
“Me and mini me time” .

Going to the classes will allow you time to slow down and take a break from our routine. They give you a chance to take care of yourself and your growing baby.If you are unsure about starting prenatal yoga, have a chat with your GP, Midwife or Practice Nurse. The general consensus appears to be it is safe to try in all trimesters, although some professionals advise waiting until the second trimester. Everyone and every body is different, always listen to yours. Have your tried prenatal yoga? Did you enjoy it? Did you find the techniques you learnt helped with your labour?

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