Guest article from Sarah of

I'm glad to have this guest post.

I'm not a momma, and while I have done some research into prenatal yoga, it's one area I feel very lacking on.

So, huzzah to Sarah of for knowing stuff for me. Her post, entitled Yoga and Mothers-to-be, is below. I don't know a great prenatal yoga sequence... anyone? Bueller?

Yoga and Mothers-to-be

Humans have been doing two things for a very long time: Making babies and practicing yoga. Coincidence?

We are physical beings who undoubtedly benefit from physical practices, either for a specific purpose or pleasure, or both. It's why many women choose yoga, before during and after pregnancy.

More than 70% of the 15 million people practicing yoga in the U.S. are women who experience innumerable physical and psychological benefits. Some of the advantages to a regular yoga practice include weight loss or maintaining a healthy weight, increased strength and flexibility, emotional stability, calmness and clarity.

The benefits of yoga for women during pregnancy can also include toning the reproductive organs and pelvis, which may assist in an easier childbirth experience for mother and child. In yoga, there are bandas, or locking techniques that strengthen the pelvic muscles, which can also be a key after childbirth as some women can experience incontinence. 

Gentle physical activity, such as a yoga practice, also delivers nutrient-rich blood to the fetus, which is critical for development. It is also important for the mother-to-be to keep blood flowing to the extremities, which can help prevent varicose veins, a common side effect during pregnancy. Yoga gets the lymphatic fluids moving and helps to flush out toxins. Women who experience constipation during pregnancy have reported relief when incorporating a regular yoga practice.

Yoga, unlike most other physical practices, pays very close attention to consciously engaging the breath during the movements and the resting periods. Various breathing techniques (and the constant reminder to breath from instructors) reminds the students to use their breath to go deeper into the posture, to relax and release the tension, to calm the body and mind and to deliver oxygen where it's most needed. For a pregnant woman, there is probably no greater gift to the fetus than a fresh, calmly delivered supply of pure oxygen.

Pregnancy can be an emotionally trying time for many women as hormones and fears surge. The meditation techniques widely used in yoga have been known to offer reprieve from the emotional rollercoaster of pregnancy. Many women also describe feeling a connection with their unborn child during their contemplative moments in meditation that they say is impossible to describe.

The relaxation benefits that come from yoga and meditation help assure that both mother and baby are getting enough rest. This is especially useful for women who have trouble sleeping during pregnancy and it can also be helpful during childbirth.

Most yoga schools and studios offer classes for the various stages of pregnancy. Just as there are many different styles of yoga, there are many modifications that can be made to a yoga posture for a pregnant woman.

Guest Post by: Sarah Leonard of OnlineNursing Degrees.

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