Is Prenatal Yoga Really More Than Just Relaxation? What Else Does It Do?
The benefits of Prenatal Yoga are more than just ways to prepare for labor and motherhood. Studies show that Prenatal Yoga helps with sleep, helps remove the fear around childbirth, helps empower moms, and so much more.
Our culture has boiled birth down to a condition, and have further put that condition in a box. With inducing, caesarian, and pain management drugs becoming almost synonymous with birth we are seeing more and more births taking place Monday through Friday 9-5. Birth has slowly moved from a natural, empowering transition in a woman’s life, to an illness that needs to be treated quickly, or a comity that can be capitalized on. By doing this we are adding fear back into the equation of birth, giving only the stories of pain, and hardship of labor instead of sharing some of the beautiful spiritually changing stories (both of which happen). Further this fear or lack of understanding of what happens in birth removes the power from the mother leaving many to feel like, “they lost control of their birth experience” or that “they were not active participants but rather just observers”. This loss of empowerment can translate over the years to questioning of validity of motherhood, lead to postpartum depression, and can also result in PTSD from traumatic birth experiences.
Birth does not happen on our time, birth happens on its own time; a time that your body, your baby, and your spirit are all in conjunction with. When we respect and honor that we are more likely to have positive birthing experiences. However even when we are stuck in positions where this is not possible, the tools and meditations that we learn in many prenatal yoga classes can help us respond, and process what is happening in our birth so that we can minimize or erase the negative effects from happening; or it can help us release past birth experiences that have traumatized us so that we can go into this birth with a fresh outlook.
Finally the themes that come with a yoga class can offer valuable encouragement and empowerment in prenatal yoga classes. One theme that is a favorite is the theme of listening to one’s own body’s rhythms. Although throughout a class I always encourage students to listen to their own bodies, and also to use the bathroom as frequently as they may need, when theming a class I am more looking to bridge that gap of the mind/body connection. Labor forces us to slow down and listen to what is going on in our own body, we have to stop and take notice. When we know what the body is saying during this time of labor we can create a more pleasant experience in labor and birth; and the sooner we start this process the better. This theme also allows us to trust our bodies once again, and gives woman back an empowerment that has long been lost for many. Often we are told how to feel or how our bodies are or should be instead of honoring who we are. Prenatal yoga offers an opportunity to reexamine, rebuild, and reconnect with our bodies and build trust within ourselves, empowering us that we will know what to do when we need to.
Pregnancy is a beautiful journey that can be fostered and embraced. Prenatal Yoga is just one of many different ways that can help you on your journey really take the most of it in. Yes it will be a little different than you are use to, but change is a good thing; and now is truly the time to embrace all the changes around you!
Hope to see you in Prenatal Classes!
Practice in Peace, Love, and Trust ❤