Remembering to pause and take deep breaths is central to yoga practice. Arguably, the same can be said of motherhood. It should thus come as no surprise that prenatal yoga is so popular among mothers.
Prenatal yoga has been praised as a positive way to stay fit and flexible throughout pregnancy. Helping build both physical strength and the mindful habit of deep breathing, it is said to better women’s overall health and well-being, while preparing them for the arduous task of childbirth itself.
For those who have practiced yoga pre-pregnancy, you’ll see that the prenatal class strategically adapts your standard poses to safely and comfortably accommodate the pregnant body. Below are some benefits of pre-natal yoga.
Preparing key body parts for childbirth: Prenatal yoga focuses on the pelvic floor and hips, both key body parts that play a big role in labor. Stretching the pelvic floor helps relax vital reproductive and digestion organs, while poses like lunges help hips stay flexible. The latter is especially important given the strain placed on open legs during delivery.
Encouraging mindful breathing: Mindful, measured breathing is important in childbirth, allowing women to relax and calm their mind. Some prenatal classes teach “thee-prat breath” or “Ujjayi breathing”, focusing on breathing through one’s belly. This means using the abdominals and diaphragm to breathe, allowing more oxygen to enter the body. This, in turn, delivers more oxygen to your baby. Finally, deep breathing allows for the release of any tensed up muscles.
Less stressful, more energetic pregnancy experience: Prenatal yoga has been shown to lead to better sleep during pregnancy, as well as reduced stress and anxiety.
Reducing common pregnancy pains: Prenatal yoga participants report to having reduced nausea, carpal tunnel syndrome and headaches, all common pregnancy symptoms.
Expanding your social network: Yoga class serves as a social space for mothers who can exchange their experiences of pregnancy with their peers, helping them take on all the joys, aches and anxieties of mothering a newborn baby all together.
Finally, it is important to note that prenatal yoga cannot be readily recommended to all pregnant mothers. Instructors will also recommend that you restrict your practice to 30 minutes per day. Other types of yoga like hot yoga are considered unsafe for expecting mothers. Be sure to consult with your instructor beforehand to ensure the best and safest practice possible.
Studios Offering Pre-Natal Yoga in Bangkok:
Flow Progressive Pilates, 081-459-8932, The Commons, Thonglor 17 & Arnoma Grand Bangkok, Ratchada; class is every Tuesday, from 11.15am-12.15pm, at 550 baht/hour
Le Sens, The Family Spa at EmQuartier, 02-003-6185, 4F Helix, EmQuartier (BTS: Phrom Phong); classes are on Sundays & Mondays, from 2pm-3pm; pre-natal class package is 6,500 for 4 hour-long sessions or 1,900 baht/session
Lullaby Yoga, 02-677-7470-1, 1st Floor, Life Center Q House Lumpini, South Sathorn Road (MRT: Lumpini); check website for class times
Pilates Studio, 02-650-7797, Mahatun Plaza (BTS: Ploenchit); check website for class times; 550 baht/1.5 hours (please book in advance)
THEO, 081-995-5735, 2nd Floor, Mille Malle, Sukhumvit 20; check website for class times
Editor’s Note: This article is sponsored by Flexi Lexi Fitness, which offers a wide range of fun and comfortable fitness and yoga wear and accessories. Shop online or visit their website or IG page for more info.