Originally posted July 22, 2012.
This is a guest post written by Deena H. Blumenfeld, RYT, RPYT, LCCE, my friend and colleague at Science & Sensibility.
Many thanks, Deena, for your insights into the mindbody integration that is prenatal yoga!
Whether you are a long-time yoga practitioner or are brand new to yoga, when you are pregnant, attending a prenatal yoga class is of great benefit to you physically and emotionally.
As you are well aware, your physical body goes through a multitude of changes. Prenatal yoga will help you adjust to and compensate for those changes. You’ll learn ways to soothe back pain, sciatica, swollen feet, heartburn and more.
That beautifully growing belly of yours will edit the way you move on a daily basis. In your yoga class you’ll use all kinds of props: from mats to blocks, bolsters, straps and blankets to make every pose accessible for every woman.
You’ll also find that your class is great preparation for labor and birth. Building body awareness and learning to work within your body’s limitations is the beginning. By being present and accepting where you are today will grant you the ability to go with the flow of your labor and birth.
In class you’ll find a focus on lunges (Warrior poses), squats, tailor sitting, many postures on hands and knees as well as a wide variety of poses to balance the upper body. Your instructor will teach you breathing for relaxation in addition to breathing for energy. All of these skills will help your body remain flexible and strong throughout the birthing process.
Even as we are open, strong and flexible in our bodies, our minds must be too. Yoga’s focus on being present will help you be emotionally engaged in your birth. Taking time out just for your yoga practice and not worrying about your daily grind will enhance your ability to focus on your birth and your baby. You’ll be able to tune into your body and work with it during the labor process. Through the breathwork and meditations in your yoga class you should be able to release any fear you may have surrounding childbirth. By taking time just for yourself, your yoga practice and your baby you will build a solid foundation for labor, birth and motherhood.
Bio: Deena H. Blumenfeld, RYT, RPYT, LCCE is a certified Khalsa Way® Prenatal Yoga Teacher and Lamaze® Certified Childbirth Educator. She has been practicing yoga for more than 15 years, and has studied extensively with many esteemed teachers in both the yoga and birth world. She integrates her unique knowledge to help women feel more confident in their birth choices. Deena was the guest commmunity editor for Lamaze International’s blog for birth professionals, Science and Sensibility for February 2012.
Please visit her at Shining Light Prenatal Education.