Discover the Prenatal Yoga ! You are pregnant and you are looking for support and guidance to strengthen the bond with your baby, relieve your nausea or your heavy legs, release the tensions in your body ?
Yoga is a discipline that has many physical and spiritual benefits, which is why it has been adapted to provide support to women during pregnancy. In this blog post, you will discover Prenatal Yoga, a physical, corporal and respiratory practice adapted to pregnant women, and that can be practiced from the 4th month of pregnancy.
Prenatal yoga was developed by the physician Bernadette de Gasquet in the 1980s. It allows women togive birth in a more natural and respectful way of their body. Indeed, prenatal yoga has become more and more popular over the last fifteen years, so much so that it is now recommended by the medical profession (midwives…) because it favors relaxation and allows you to learn to breathe better.
The objective of this discipline is to to work on the movements of the pelvis, to perform a deep muscle strengthening to help the mother-to-be to support her pelvic floor… Prenatal yoga allows to untie the tensions linked to the pregnancy, through different breathing exercisesIt is comparable to Hatha Yoga, the rhythm is just slower and the postures are adapted to make room for the mother’s belly.
A prenatal yoga session includes: conditioning exercises, breathing exercises, the realization of more or less dynamic asanas, relaxation postures and relaxation.
Moreover, it is not necessary to already have a good level of yoga to practice this yoga, it is a complementary discipline to the childbirth preparation classes.
There is no real contraindication because each exercise can be adapted to your case, this discipline is only not recommended for women who have a too open cervix. Prenatal yoga can be practiced from the 3rd to the 9th month.
You should know that childbirth preparation sessions are reimbursed by social security when they are organized by a doctor or a midwife.
Prenatal yoga allows you to welcome with more serenity the hormonal hormonal, physical but also psychological changes of your pregnancy. Indeed, it has many benefits:
-It relieves the evils of the pregnancy : backache, nausea, varicose veins, sciatica…
– It brings a release, relaxation and releases stress and and tensions accumulated throughout the day.
-It improves blood circulation and oxygenation of your cellular tissues.
-It allows you to adopt a positive state of mind and improves self-confidence
– It will develops your mental strength as well as your physical stamina and circulates the energy in the body.
-It prevents the development of gestational diabetes
-It allows to to store endorphins and pain-relieving hormones which will be essential during childbirth.
– It will tones and relaxes your deep musclesIt tones and relaxes your deep muscles, especially those of the back, which is ideal for breastfeeding.
– It brings a awareness of the perineum.
– It creates and reinforces the bond between the mother and the babyIt creates and strengthens the bond between mother and baby, as it provides a first contact with the baby, promotes exchanges and allows to be more attentive to his feelings.
A prenatal yoga class lasts approximately 1h30 and it counts about fifteen participants, it generally begins with a time of time for talking where each one speaks about the positive and negative points of her pregnancy so that the teacher can and adapt her class to each mother.
After that, it’s time to do some gentle yoga posturesThe aim is not to achieve technical feats or to go beyond one’s limits, but only to enter into postures (sitting, lying down…) and to feel the benefits. And at the end of the course, students perform relaxation sessions.
It is recommended to practice prenatal yoga on a regular basis: once or twice a week to feel the effects.
It is important to ask about the role of the father in the prenatal yoga class! Indeed, the father also has a role to play in the preparation of the birth of his child, it is a unique moment to live together.
During the prenatal yoga classes given in studio, the teachers answer all the questions (caesarean, epidurals…) and allow to take awareness of the importance of the role they play on the day of the birth. They invite fathers-to-be to listen to their wife’s needs, to be available and to communicate.
There are many yoga studios that offer prenatal yoga classes, if you live in Paris, you can even go to the
De Gasquet Institute
But it is also possible to take prenatal yoga classes online, the classes are cheaper and more flexible, but you don’t have the same guidance. For example, the youtube channel Yoganh which offers videos of prenatal courses, but there are also online platforms like Olybe which offer subscriptions that allow pregnant women to participate in online classes or watch videos whenever they want.
To practice safely from home, it is advisable to cover up, use cushions, chairs or a wall to adapt the postures and make them more accessible. It is also very important to breathe slowly and deeply, not to exceed your physical limits, and to hydrate well before, during and after the session.
If you suffer from sciatica, you must perform the posture of the cow’s head as well as the posture of the half pinch. To relieve back pain, nothing is better than the posture of the child on his knees and the half-bridge that moves. And to learn to breathe and strengthen the bond with baby: the candle, legs against a wall, the butterfly are very effective.
- The posture to improve blood circulation in the lower limbs:
- Lie on your back, bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor.
- Raise your right leg upwards: above your hip, while breathing in deeply.
- Push your right heel up while blowing through your mouth.
- Hold your leg in the air while breathing in
- Rest your leg on the ground gently without arching your lower back, while exhaling
- Do the same with the left leg
- Place your hands on your belly to be in contact with your baby.
- Repeat the exercise 3 to 5 times on each side.
Tips Be careful not to arch your back, support yourself on your feet and synchronize the movement with your breathing.
- The posture to open the pelvis and soften the hips:
- Lie on your back on your yoga mat
- Place your yoga straps under your feet and grab both ends with your hands.
- Raise your legs to the sky, while maintaining your straps
- Take a deep breath
- Exhale while spreading your legs, which should remain straight
- Let your feet drop gently to the sides, hands move away from each other and your arms are spread.
- Feel your adductors stretch and your pelvis open
- Inhale deeply while bending your legs, bring your knees toward your chest to stretch your lower back.
- Pause, put your arms by your sides and your hands on your stomach.
- Repeat this movement 3 to 5 times as needed.
Tip Use 2 yoga straps to avoid pulling on your lower back, listen to your sensations, and don’t block your breathing.
- The posture to tone the thighs, buttocks and perineum: the half-bridge posture
- Lie on your back on your yoga mat, resting on your shoulder blades, shoulders down and chin in.
- Breathe in and out several times
- Inhale while lifting your buttocks: lift the vertebrae of your spine off the ground one by one starting from the coccyx, take support on your feet, shoulders and arms.
- Rest your vertebrae one by one on the floor until you reach your sacrum
- Repeat this movement as many times as you like depending on how you feel
Tip: Make sure to stay 1 to 3 breathing cycles when your buttocks are raised and always come back down on an exhale.
To practice prenatal yoga in the best conditions, it is essential to equip yourself with adapted yoga equipment! Indeed, there are several yoga accessories that will bring softness to your practice, and that will allow you to feel the benefits while respecting your physical limits.
Regarding the yoga matIt is advisable to choose a comfortable, soft and thick mat, in order to practice in comfort and protect your joints. Prenatal yoga involves gentle and slow postures, so it is not essential that the mat be very non-slip.
The yoga mat from the the Performance range range is perfectly suited, with its thickness of 4 mmthickness, its weight of 2,8 kg and its dimensions of 183 cm x 68 cm. It is made from stable natural rubber, and a very soft microfiber base peach skin effect.
A yoga brick improves and facilitates the realization of many asanas, it allows you to hold in balance, it acts as an extension of your body. This makes it easier for you to gain support and avoid injury if you lack flexibility. It brings comfort in the complex postures to realize, it allows you to relax but also to check your alignment on the yoga mat, and thus to progress in full safety.
The yoga bolster provides essential support and comfort for prenatal yoga classes. It is a cylindrical cushion, it will relieve your back by placing it along your spine when you are in savasana position, and your legs by placing it under your knees.
The yoga strap allows you to realize your postures with more ease, it allows you to reach your feet more easily, in particular during your last months of pregnancy.
A yoga blanket will prevent your body from getting cold during the relaxation and meditation sessions at the end of the class.
Once you have given birth, you may want to practice other styles of yoga? Discover already all the types of yoga that exist in our special file!
In addition, it is important to equip yourself with yoga equipment adapted to its practice, its needs and its desiresto take advantage of all the benefits of this discipline!