Childbirth is no easy feat. In fact, it is one of the most physical events of a woman’s life. There are many uncontrollable factors such as the intensity of the contractions, the positioning of the baby and the amount of space in the pelvic girdle. These factors can be out of the woman’s control, but there is a way that the mother-to-be can prepare to have a manageable labor. Prenatal yoga offers the expectant mother spiritual, mental and physical comfort during both pregnancy and labor which is beneficial on this life-changing journey.
Yoga promotes body awareness by teaching the individual how to go within and listen to the needs of the body. Yoga focuses on breathing (pranayama), postures (asanas) and meditation as a way to distinguish areas where tension is being held. Awareness of the tense areas allows the woman to release that tightness letting the body open up and facilitate labor. When the body is stiff and rigid it prevents labor from progressing smoothly. In addition the deep connection with the body allows the women to rely less on medical thinking and more on the intuitive wisdom of the human body. Yoga during pregnancy offers countless benefits when it comes to relieving pregnancy discomforts and managing pain during childbirth.
Practicing yoga everyday is preferred, but if not, at least 3 times a week to receive the most benefits. It helps to stretch the growing body, quiet the mind and help prepare for the demands of motherhood. Breathing and postures increase lung capacity, improve quality of sleep and help to connect with your baby more deeply. Many yoga studios offer prenatal yoga classes or workshops. In the San Diego area Yogi Mami offers a Yoga for Birth workshop to couples to help teach mind body techniques that can be incorporated into a woman’s daily routine to prepare for the physical and emotional changes of labor.