What are the benefits of Yoga during pregnancy? Read this advice from fit mom featured blogger, Amy.
Hi, I’m Amy — a Colorado lover, yogi, lucky wife, proud mama, foodi, novice blogger, perpetual student, encourager, aspiring green thumb and a dreamer.
I am a counselor by trade and recently certified holistic health coach and I maintain a little blog to foster my creative spirit. A little over a year ago I accepted the best job in the world when my husband and I welcomed sweet baby Finley into this world. Becoming a mama kick started a self-reflection and creative process and I’ve been on a mission ever since to make sure that I am spending my days passionately pursuing my dreams. I am so excited to help and serve young women and mamas alike as we navigate this adventure called life and live authentic, healthy and purposeful lives. You can read more about my adventures at alittleseptemberlove.blogspot.com or follow me on Twitter and Instagram @alittleseptlove I would love to meet you!
I’ve always been a pretty active person. I grew up swimming competitively and moved to the most beautiful place on earth, to attend college in Boulder, Colorado. I quickly embraced the active lifestyle of the mountains spending a ton of time skiing, running and hiking, it was in Boulder that I first tried yoga. In all honesty, I wasn’t super impressed at first and what I remember from my first class was that it was really hot and the instructor, guy was very yogic and wearing super short shorts, but something made me go back, and my initial apprehension quickly turned into love. Almost immediately, I felt stronger, more balanced and much more relaxed. My running improved and I just felt great! I continued to practice regularly for the next few years and decided that I wanted to expand my practice. I signed up to attend a yoga teacher training in February of 2010, shortly after getting married. It was intense, but after 6 weeks of classes and training, I graduated. I was so emotional at the graduation…little did I know!
About three weeks after completing my training I found out that I was pregnant. I was totally surprised and completely terrified! The first 12 weeks of my pregnancy were challenging, between morning sickness that was more like all day sickness, exhaustion, fear and a medical condition that restricted exercise I was feeling pretty overwhelmed. Thankfully at about 12 weeks I was feeling better and my doctor gave me the go ahead to continue working out. Naturally, I went right back to my mat. I was lucky enough to spend a whole day of my teacher training learning about prenatal yoga and I couldn’t wait to try it!
Minneapolis has some amazing yoga studios, one of which is especially for expecting moms! Talk about great energy in that place! I started attending and slowly my fear of pregnancy and childbirth began to diminish. I started to believe that my body really was strong and capable of carrying a baby and having a healthy delivery. With every Goddess pose and squat I did, I thought about how strong I was and my trust grew and grew. You see, yoga during my pregnancy was not just for the physical benefits, the emotional benefits and the wonderful and supportive community of other pregnant women I got to spend time with were SOOOO encouraging! My sweet little boy was born on his due date, Christmas day! My delivery was very peaceful and actually quite amazing. I with in 6 weeks of delivery my little man was joining me for Bring Your Own Baby Yoga! I am convinced that this was a result of really learning to trust and embrace my body! We were made for this baby stuff!
Here are a few other benefits of prenatal yoga:
1. Develops Strength and Stamina- Carrying a baby is hard work. A regular yoga practice during pregnancy helps to strengthen your hips, back, arms and legs
2. Balance- As our babies grow our center of balance shifts and often, normal movements are challenged. In addition to the physical changes we are experiencing intense hormonal changes and our emotional balance is also challenged. Prenatal yoga shifts are focus inward restoring physical and emotional balance.
3. Yoga Calms the Nervous System- Breath is an integral part of yoga. Practicing deep breathing helps our bodies to relax and rest, improving sleep, digestion and helping our immune system function at its optimal level.
4. Preparation for Labor- Yoga challenges us to breath consciously through challenging posture. This is similar to challenges you may face in labor, by turning our attention inward and focusing on our breath we are able to successfully move through physical challenges.
5. Sense of Community- As highlighted in my post, the sense of community and connectedness in a room full of pregnant mamas practicing yoga together is like nothing I’ve ever experienced! This is reassuring, calming and encouraging and helps to promote feelings of wellbeing, connectedness to your baby and your experience.
I am truly thankful and honored to have been able to share my yoga experience! Namaste mamas!
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Please welcome Alyssa, our latest For Two Fitness Ambassador! Alyssa is the mom of two young girls, and is excited to have number 3 on the way. She keeps fit during pregnancy and postnatal times by walking, practicing yoga, and doing low impact strength training. Alyssa has run a number of half marathons, and is looking forward to participating in one in 2019. Please follow Alyssa on her website.