The following is the first in a 3-part blog series on Yoga + Pregnancy:
It was an amazing experience to study Pre and Postnatal Yoga at the Yoga Garden in San Francisco this year. Ever since I returned, I have had numerous questions about pregnancy and yoga. I have also discovered – there are a lot of beautiful women in my life that are pregnant!
Because of this, I thought it was time to write a quick list of great things that will hopefully serve you or someone you love as they navigate the beautiful & crazy thing we call pregnancy.
Disclaimer – I am not a doctor. If you are pregnant, make sure you speak with your midwife/doctor before engaging in any physical activity and ensure every activity is safe for you!! Most of the notes below are for any low risk pregnancy, but everyone should have a conversation with a medical professional before planning their own exercise routine. If you are high risk, breathing and intention setting are still wonderful practices to help you navigate pregnancy!
WHY Yoga + Pregnancy:
Pregnant Women are STRONG not Sick – In order to become pregnant and stay pregnant, it requires a healthy strong body. (This is not to say those that struggle with fertility, myself included, are not strong and healthy too!!) Many of my pregnant friends express a feeling of being treated as though they have an illness when they speak to medical professionals, or even when they are around other people. Pretty sure it takes more strength and stamina creating a life for 9 months and giving birth than it does training and running a marathon. Because of this, yoga is an amazing way to keep a pregnant body strong, and help adjust to an ever changing body.
The Power of Breath – In yoga, breathing is a key part of the practice. Not only can breath calm the mind, it is an essential part of that exciting day when you will finally meet your new little one. Also, as your body blossoms, there will be less room and learning how to use your lungs to full capacity is a beautiful gift to help alleviate common pregnancy discomfort.
Bond with your Baby – Let’s face it, even if this is your first child, you don’t have much time between work, planning for your baby, and other obligations to really take time to connect with the growing life inside of you. Taking some time to do yoga, breathe, and slow down, will give you the much needed time to bond with your beautiful baby before their birth day.
Set your Intentions & Process Concerns – No matter how excited and prepared you are, pregnancy and becoming a parent is an emotional rollercoaster. Ghosts appear out of mental closets for both partners. Did your parents tell you about their traumatic birth experience and you fear the same? Do you have apprehensions about the birth, being a parent, or your changing relationship with your partner? Have you experienced miscarriages, or did it take you some time to become pregnant and now you have fears about your pregnancy? Use your yoga practice as a chance to process concerns, be honest with yourself, and with your breath release thoughts that are not serving you. Set your intention, “Healthy, Happy Pregnancy and Baby…” or anything else that feels good for you.
Ann Givens is a registered yoga teacher, completing 200-hour certification at Haleybird Sudios in Wauwatosa, WI. She is also a registered pre/postnatal yoga teacher, completing 85-hour certification at Yoga Garden in San Francisco, CA. As she prepared to enter motherhood, Ann discovered in the importance of community, yoga, and breath for all moms-to-be. She loves to teach prenatal yoga and feels it is an important class to offer the community.
Ann teaches Prenatal Yoga at INVIVO Wellness on Saturdays from 11:15am – 12:15pm. Weekly intentions and additional resources can be found at her website www.anngivensyoga.com
Call 414-265-5606 to register for Hatha yoga classes appropriate for expectant mothers at all stages of pregnancy and postpartum.