Most moms-to-be are aware that continuing a moderate exercise routine during pregnancy can be beneficial to both mom and baby, so it should be no surprise that prenatal yoga in particular is steadily increasing in popularity among the baby bump crowd.
According to Jennifer Yellin Snyder, a pregnancy yoga instructor with Oh Baby! Fitness, an Atlanta-based provider of pre- and postnatal fitness classes, prenatal yoga can “reduce stress, improve mood, stretch and strengthen muscles, and increase overall well-being.” And the benefits don’t end there. Snyder shares that participants of her classes have reported relief from pregnancy aches and pains, better sleep (especially the night of the yoga class), a sense of renewal and self-care, and the ability to ease the anxiety of pregnancy using the meditative and breathing techniques taught in class.
Although attending prenatal yoga classes can be a great way to join a community where you can meet a few pregnant pals, you can also practice prenatal yoga by yourself at home. Snyder walks us through some ways to modify traditional yoga poses to accommodate growing bellies.
The basics: Drop to your knees on your yoga mat and spread your knees as wide as the mat, keeping your big toes touching. Rest your belly between your thighs and bring your forehead to the floor. Stretch arms out in front of or behind you.
The basics: Lying on your back, bend your knees while keeping your feet flat on the ground and lift your hips toward the ceiling. Raise your chest toward your chin without tucking your chin to your chest. Straighten your arms by your side and press them into the mat.
Downward Facing Dog
The basics: From your hands and knees, with your wrists positioned under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips, curl your toes under and straighten your legs while pushing back, raising your hips upward and dropping your heels to the floor. Let your head hang down while keeping space between your ears and shoulders.
The basics: From a standing position, extend one leg in front of you, creating a wide, forward-facing stance. Bend the front leg so that the knee is directly over the ankle, while keeping the back leg extended straight behind you.
Want to try a class?
Visit yogafinder.com to find a studio near you that offers prenatal yoga.