What is Pregnancy Yoga?
Much like other types of childbirth-preparation classes, pregnancy yoga (or prenatal yoga) is a multifaceted approach to exercise that encourages stretching, mindful centering and focused breathing. Combing yoga and hypnobirthing during pregnancy helps you prepare for labour and promote your baby’s health.
At Joyful Body classes give you the confidence to trust your instincts and work with your body during labour.
As long as your doctor has given you the green light to stay physically active during pregnancy, yoga is an ideal activity for all expectant mums.
What are the benefits?
Research suggests that practicing yoga during pregnancy you can:
- Improve sleep
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Increase the strength, flexibility and endurance of muscles needed for childbirth
- Decrease lower back pain, nausea, carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms, headaches and shortness of breath
- Pregnancy yoga can also help you meet other pregnant women and prepare for the stress of being a new parent.
A typical class will include;
An introduction. Each week before class begins you will be asked how you are, any aches or discomfort you may be having with your body and postures that may help with that, this will also give you time to get to know others in the group.
Warm-up. You'll slowly get your body moving, so your muscles and joints are ready for class.
Postures. While standing, sitting or lying on the ground, you'll gently move your body into different positions aimed at developing your strength, flexibility and balance. Props — such as blankets and cushions — might be used to provide support and comfort.
Pelvic floor. There will incorporate pelvic floor and abdominal toning exercises.
Gentle stretching. You'll gently move different areas of your body, such as your neck and arms, through their full range of motion.
Breathing. We will practice a variety of effective breathing techniques you can use during labour.
Deep relaxation. At the end of each class, you'll relax your muscles and restore your resting heart rate and breathing rhythm. You might be encouraged to listen to your own breathing, pay close attention to sensations, thoughts and emotions, or repeat a mantra or word to bring about a state of self-awareness and inner calm.
Why include hypnobirthing?
Hypnobirthing breathing techniques are proven to help reduce or manage shortness of breath during pregnancy and work through contractions during labour. You will also have a greater connection with your baby whilst preparing your mind and body for a more calm birthing experience. This winning combination can help you feel good and learn how to use your breathing to remain calm, and, best of all, learn to relax.
When and where do classes run?
At Joyful Body our unique classes combining yoga with some hypnobirthing techniques are held in South Croydon
Jayne Micallef, DYCT, DipHb(KG)