I had the pleasure of sitting down with Edmonton Prenatal Yoga instructor Chantal Eder of Yoga for Pregnancy and Parenthood, to discuss the benefits of prenatal yoga.
We know that exercise is great for the body. In addition to the obvious physical benefits, Prenatal yoga is also a wonderful way to learn to cope with stress and anxiety. It helps us with those daily changes to our bodies during this incredible time.
I wish I knew more about this prior to the birth of my own children!
Movement is always a benefit no matter what phase of life you are in. The movement in Prenatal yoga also has the bonus of helping baby get into the optimal position for birth.
It can help build stamina and endurance for labour and be a benefit to your mental health, your nervous system and focus, which are helpful no matter the method of delivery. You may feel lonely or afraid going into an O.R., and the breathing techniques taught in prenatal yoga can help tremendously to get you as relaxed as possible during a c-section.
Prenatal yoga is beneficial in all trimesters!
If you are doing yoga prior to becoming pregnant, it is a natural progression into Prenatal yoga. Eventually the classes that you take now are not going to be modified for your baby bump. You will need to stop doing plank, twists and anything that puts pressure on baby. Trained Prenatal yoga instructors will guide you through poses and breathing techniques which are safe for both you and baby during each trimester.
Prenatal yoga with a trained instructor is safe during any trimester, however, you should consult your doctor before partaking in any physical exercise. There are some conditions which will limit your movement. However, even on bedrest, you can perform neck stretches, breathing and calming exercises taught during Prenatal yoga, which will help tremendously.
A trained Prenatal yoga instructor will provide modified exercises for placenta previa, for women past the 37-week mark, carpal tunnel, low back pain, nerve pain, etc.
Within a standard 200 hour yoga teacher training course, some schools will dedicate 20 hours to Prenatal yoga. This will give a little guidance to modify some poses if there was a pregnant person in the class. However it is not enough to tell the instructor all of the intricacies of what pregnancy does to a body up to, including, and after delivery.
In addition to Edmonton Prenatal Yoga, Chantal also offers Pregnancy Circle meets, and one-on-one sessions. These are not focused on movement, but rather the inner journey of pregnancy. I will cover this multi-faceted topic in another blog in the near future.
To book classes, visit: https://yogaforpregnancyandparenthood.offeringtree.com/
Also take part in Chantal’s Couples Birth Prep Class coming up on December 4, 2023: