by Margaret Kirschner
What are the benefits of a prenatal yoga class instead of a regular class?
- A certified prenatal yoga teacher is specifically trained and especially interested in pregnancy and yoga. She may also bring other related knowledge about self-care, birth and mothering to a pregnancy yoga class. Margaret Kirschner is also a birth doula, an experienced yoga teacher and is a trauma-sensitive yoga therapist.
- Most of the participants are pregnant or partners so the complete focus of prenatal yoga is on the psychological and physiological needs of a woman and her growing baby.
- Connection with other Moms and their partners. Participants are invited to introduce themselves and share a little about what they’re really experiencing at the beginning of each class, which normalizes all kinds of things and creates an emotional support network.
- It is both physically and emotionally fortifying and challenging, simultaneously. Affirmation, visualization and mindful movement synchronized with breath create the ideal conditions to prepare for birth through yoga.
- It includes restorative poses that relieve tension, specifically for hips and low back, allowing the nervous system to settle down. Learning what it feels like to experience the body loosening its grip while remaining present and curious is a helpful skill in labor and other intense times.
- On a more subtle level, it cultivates a powerful bond with your baby by slowing the pace and directing attention inward. Because your baby is conscious and aware while in the womb, the inward focus develops a loving relationship even prior to birth.
- It develops the ability to pay attention to the present moment, consciously choosing to observe all that comes and goes, with compassion. Noting the ability to breathe into a new or uncomfortable sensation, emotion or thought prepares a woman not just for the work of labor but for the work of a lifetime.
- The most obvious benefit may be the physical movement that creates good nourishing blood flow, oxygen and circulation for both Mom and baby. Putting the body into specific shapes, designed with baby in mind, supports inner and outer strength, flexibility and resiliency.
- Prenatal yoga has been studied and shown to be helpful in decreasing the chances of postpartum anxiety and depression. There are many reasons why, including physical effort, relaxation, rhythmic breathing, meditative qualities and community support.
- Prenatal yoga addresses all aspects of birth preparation by preparing the body, easing the mind and brightening the spirit so a woman and her partner can be confident and excited about the upcoming birth.
Your partner is always welcome at the prenatal classes at The Mothership! What seems to be true is that leading a less stressful, more connected and balanced life during pregnancy is beneficial for a woman, her partner, her baby and possibility for our extended community for many years to come. Mindful movement like prenatal yoga offers the entire family great potential to grow and nurture ourselves as we usher in the next generation.
We look forward to seeing you at our prenatal yoga classes on Wednesdays at 6-7:15 and Sundays at 4-5:15.