Fremont Families: 10 benefits to pre-natal yoga
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(Fremont County, Wyo.) – Pregnancy can be one of the most exciting times in a woman’s life. It can also be a bit scary and overwhelming. Tarah Peek, one of Lander’s most experienced Yogis, has been practicing yoga and prenatal yoga for years and she offers some great advice for expecting mothers.
Tarah became certified in 2005 and since then completed several other certifications including up to level 3 in Ashtanga Yoga. When she was expecting her first child Tarah added pre-natal yoga to her practice.
“For many women, pregnancy becomes challenging as energy changes, body changes, and mood changes making previous workouts and lifestyle routines also very difficult to continue,” she said.
Tarah noted pre-natal yoga can be beneficial for several reasons including:
- Nurturing Self-Care Time: we so often forget to take time for just ourselves to accept and connect to our journey of pregnancy, which can be transforming in many internal and external ways.
- Calms the Nervous System: Through deep breathing, the nervous system goes into parasympathetic mode, which is responsible for relaxation. When our bodies are in that mode, our digestive system operates properly, we tend to sleep better, and our immune system is at its optimal, plus the growing baby works with our nervous system and thrives when we are calm.
- Relieves Tensions of the Body: Lower back, hips, chest, upper back, neck and shoulders get very tight and sore as our bodies quickly change leaving us irritable and uncomfortable. Some workout programs can make the body even tighter where yoga focuses on stretching, creating space and releasing the tensions through breath work and intention.
- Balance: Pregnancy can leave the body off balance as the fetus quickly grows. When we focus on breathing and holding poses our bodies can fine tune balance and keep up with our changing body.
- Strength: Yoga builds strength in the muscles that hold and carry the baby. Our bodies need this extra strength to keep up with the weight and demands of pregnancy.
- Increase our Circulation: As we lengthen our muscles during our practice we increase our circulation of blood and reduce swelling while also helping to increase our immunity which can get suppressed through pregnancy.
- Practice of Breathwork: A good practice in breath work is very beneficial for labor and delivery, a conscious breath helps to keep blood pressure and heart rate regulated. These skills are very beneficial for postpartum as well when it’s needed to stay calm while the baby is crying in the middle of the night!
- Connection with Baby: It is so easy to get caught up with daily activities. Not taking the time to connect to the growing baby inside. A yoga practice helps the Mom to slow down and connect to what’s happening inside the body. The poses and breath work help bring the awareness internally. The mama and baby bond starts in the womb and is much stronger when there is an awareness and connection created during the growth of the baby, helping the baby to thrive.
- Preparation for Labor and Delivery: You are working with conscious breathing during each yoga pose, which may sometimes be challenging. This transfers into the time of labor, allowing one to practice being “comfortable with the uncomfortable” through our breathwork. As you inhale, you acknowledge the tension that is felt. As you deeply exhale, you let go of it more and more with each breath.
- Sense of community and sisterhood: Being in a group of women who are going through the same thing creates a sense of security and strong support system that can last all through pregnancy and through postpartum.
Tarah advises moms can get involved with a new yoga program in many different ways. She offers a weekly pre-natal class at Bhava Shala in Lander. She also noted expecting mothers can visit Youtube and find a suitable video for your trimester and fitness level. And checking out the local library for instructional books and videos may be beneficial as well.
“There are so many ways to stay conscious, connected and healthy during the magical time of pregnancy,” she concluded.