For years, I never understood the appeal of Prenatal Yoga…then I got pregnant. As a yogi, I love an advanced yoga practice and didn’t think prenatal yoga would really offer anything for me. As a yoga teacher, I never wanted to teach it! A real skeptic.
It’s an odd thing to say especially as the owner of 5 Elements Yoga in Brampton, a studio that has built a strong presence with prenatal yoga over the years! Of course I saw how much our pregnant mama’s loved their classes, and received a few birth stories to send to the prenatal teachers—but it wasn’t’ until I personally attended one of these classes that I truly started to understand the appeal of this community.
What I learned, was that prenatal yoga was not just for people who had been practicing yoga, and it wasn’t just for those who had never practiced . It was less about exercise (though an awesome tool for a healthy pregnancy) and more about stepping into your power and preparing yourself for birth and the entire process leading up to it.
Here are my top 5 reasons to check out Prenatal Yoga.
Childbirth can seem daunting! That might be the understatement of the century. Prenatal yoga classes have a way of helping you bring different strengths out in yourself that you didn’t know you had! Prenatal yoga is a great tool to help you realize how capable, strong, resilient, compassionate and loving you really are! It’s an incredible feeling to be in a room where there is a profound belief in your ability to do whatever is required of you in your pregnancy. It’s even better when you recognize that in yourself.
Teachers know their stuff! Not only do they know yoga—they know pregnancy and birth! Many of our teachers are mother’s themselves (a few times over!), and many of them support moms in birth. You’ll be taught poses that will help relieve discomfort throughout your pregnancy, poses that will help you prepare for birth, poses to do in labour - not to mention you will be given countless resources to help you along the way! We’ll talk anything from prenatal vitamins to placenta art and everything in between.
The prenatal community is a strong one! There’s nothing like being in a room of like-minded pregnant women. There’s a real sense of camaraderie and… sisterhood for lack of a better word.
You get to share in each other’s joy, struggle, and all of the many other emotions that come along with being pregnant. Pregnant mama’s often forge strong relationships with each other that carry over into mom and baby yoga after birth, and beyond! I think being around so many pregnant women helps you remember that women have been birthing babies for thousands of years, and we’re all in it together and we are all capable of this process.
Now I know… pregnancy isn’t the most comfortable of times! We hear ya! Your body is changing, your emotions are all over the place, and maybe your role in this world is changing a little bit. But there is comfort that can be found in the resources you can find in teachers and fellow yogis. Mentally and physically, yoga is a great way to ease discomfort that you might be experiencing in your pregnancy. Whether it’s your low back, swollen feet or hip issues, there’s a lot that yoga can do to support you in having a more comfortable pregnancy.
5. Judgement-Free Space.
As women, we get a lot of judgement thrown at us. It starts really young, and escalates as we get older. That said, I think that judgement grows exponentially when we get pregnant. You’re gaining too much weight, you’re not gaining enough weight. You should eat this, you should definitely avoid eating that. My god…You want a home birth? … you get the point. People have a lot of opinions on what you should or should not do. What I love about yoga studios is they’re judgement free spaces. Show up exactly as you are, and use your practice to nourish your relationship with yourself and your baby. That’s all.
A special "thank you" to our guest blogger Natalie!