Alternative Therapies: Prenatal Yoga
The flowing movements of the body. The mental release of the mind. The feel-good stretching of the ligaments and muscles. These elements of yoga do wonders to the body and mind, especially in pregnancy. Prenatal yoga is a great no/low-impact way to stay active and moving while your body is adjusting to pregnancy.
What is yoga and what makes prenatal yoga different?
Yoga is a mind and body practice that originated in ancient India. It was brought to the West in the 1960s and 1970s and has since gained mainstream popularity in the early 1990s-2000s. Yoga combines physical postures and movements, breathing techniques, meditation and relaxation. This combination makes yoga perfect for pregnancy. The main difference from a “regular” yoga class and prenatal yoga is twofold, the intention of the class and the training of the yoga teacher. Prenatal yoga is a speciality type of yoga that requires a different set of training, in addition to standard yoga teacher training.
Benefits of this Therapy
As mentioned previously, yoga is perfect for pregnancy as it combines physical movement, breath practices and relaxation techniques. Physical postures help to build strength and endurance needed for childbirth (and parenthood, those car seats are heavy!). There is a specific focus on muscles of the pelvic floor which often become weakened due to additional stress. As well as, postures focused on strengthening the transverse abdominal muscles which are needed for pushing. Breathing practices help to induce calm and focus. Restorative postures promote and improve sleep quality. One of the most valuable benefits of prenatal yoga is having a safe place to share experiences and a community of supportive parents.
Risks of this Therapy
The most common risk in yoga is injury. The risk of injury associated with yoga is lower than that for higher impact physical activities. Injury is more common in experienced/advanced practitioners than beginners, as a result of repetitive movement as opposed to an acute injury. Prenatal yoga tends to be a gentle practice and with an experienced prenatal yoga teacher will greatly minimize this risk. If you are at risk for preterm labor or are on bedrest, you would be better suited skipping group classes and physical postures. There tends to be a focus on the physical aspect of yoga, however meditation is a key component of yoga. If you can sit or lay down, you can practice meditative yoga. Always talk to your healthcare provider before starting any new physical activity.
About Prenatal Yoga Las Vegas
Prenatal Yoga Las Vegas (PYLV) is a boutique online and mobile yoga studio based in Las Vegas, Nevada founded by Angela Reis, yoga teacher and trainer, doula and mother. PYLV specializes in prenatal, postnatal, yoga for fertility and pelvic health, as well as offer yoga teacher training. Our yoga teachings are safe, nurturing and geared toward all stages of parenthood. At Prenatal Yoga Las Vegas we know that the path to parenthood looks different for each individual. We respect and honor each person as they are. We make no assumptions about your journey, where you have been or where you are headed.
Yoga is a great low-impact way to gain (or keep) flexibility in the muscles. Mentally checking in with yourself as yoga promotes meditation. We appreciate Angela Reis for her contribution to the alternative therapies series, and her contributions to supporting the community.