There are so many phenomenal reasons to practice yoga during your pregnancy.
I should know. I’ve been pregnant 3 times and practiced yoga through each trimester of each pregnancy from day 1 to the very end.
I’ve also been teaching yoga for nearly 15 years and practicing for 20, so I know a thing or 2 about yoga.
If you’re not sure how awesome yoga can be during your pregnancy, let me give you all the reasons.
Reasons to Practice Yoga During Your Pregnancy
Keeps Your Body Healthy During Your Pregnancy in 2 Important Ways
Number 1, yoga supports your changing body. Over the course of your pregnancy, your body is going to change and grow and do some pretty crazy-amazing things. Cra-mazing things? Anyway, the sooner you start a yoga practice in your pregnancy, the sooner your yoga practice can grow and change with you to support your exact needs day to day and week to week in your pregnancy.
Here’s why: Yoga teaches you to connect body to mind to soul. So you’re paying attention more to how you’re feeling, physically and emotionally. So when things feel funny in your body, you can adjust how you’re doing the pose. And as your body changes during your pregnancy, you can modify most yoga poses to support your needs. Pretty sweet!
Number 2 is that yoga helps you tone some of the bigger muscle groups that will help your growing and changing body during each stage of pregnancy, including labor, delivery, and postpartum, aka the 4th trimester. You can use yoga to tone your pelvic floor, strengthen your legs, stabilize your hips, and create space in your upper back.
Yoga Can Help with Labor and Delivery
Yoga can smooth the labor and delivery process. While it might not ensure you have a vaginal delivery, if that’s what you are hoping for, yoga can give you tools to manage the experience of birth.
Whether it’s staying in tune with your body and staying steady through contractions or pushing your baby out or making the right choice for you when the time comes, yoga can help you with that.
There are some great meditations you can practice to prep for labor and delivery, as well as poses suited for pelvic floor toning, low back relief, and endurance.
Yoga’s got you covered for labor and delivery, too!
Easier Postpartum Recovery
Yoga can also help you recover and heal postpartum. Part of this is because you’ve spent your pregnancy practicing yoga, so your body is a little more prepped to heal. The movements are familiar, even though your postpartum body might not be.
Also, the same movements that supported you during pregnancy will support your recovery. Poses and actions that toned your pelvic floor then will do the same postpartum. The same poses that gave you low back relief during pregnancy will do the same during postpartum recovery. And the same poses that felt great for your upper body will give you relief when you’ve been holding a baby for hours.
While yoga can’t guarantee that your postpartum recovery will be smooth and easy, it can make your healing and recovery smoother and easier than if you didn’t do yoga.
Endorphins Are Fantastic
Wasn’t it Elle Woods who said, “Endorphins make you happy. And happy people don’t kill their husbands.”
There is some truth to that.
Endorphins can make you feel great. Pregnancy can give you all kinds of feelings, both physical and emotional. Anything you can do to tip the scales in a more positive direction is always a good thing. And that includes yoga (which can boost your endorphins).
Builds a Connection Between You and Your Baby
This one is pretty sweet. By building a deeper mind-body-soul connection with yourself through yoga, you’re also creating a connection with what is growing inside of you.
In the first few months of pregnancy, you might not even feel “super pregnant” but you can feel things shifting in your body. It can be exciting and scary and unsettling and mind-blowingly awesome. Building a connection to those cells that are forming and growing inside you can be a powerful act of love, not only for your someday baby, but for yourself. And it can give you a little peace of mind when things feel a little uncertain, especially in those early months.
As things progress, this connection deepens and gives you greater insights into how you and the babe are growing and changing together. Which is also pretty cool.
Creates Relief for Common Pregnancy “Ailments”
As wonderful as pregnancy can be, all of those hormones can wreak havoc on your body. From low back pain to nausea to insomnia to leg cramps to wrist numbness to headaches to mood swings, pregnancy can give you all kinds of bonus gifts.
Yoga is a wonderful way to combat these ailments and provide some relief.
While yoga can’t necessarily take all of the nausea of morning sickness away or get rid of your leg cramps completely, there are yoga poses and actions that can provide relief when you need it. At the very least to give you some space from the discomfort for a little bit.
Need some proof? Here’s my Yoga for Low Back Relief During Pregnancy video. Tried and true poses that worked for me and my clients when we struggled with the low back aches and pains from pregnancy!
Postpartum Practice ROI
What does that mean? Well, if you are consistent with your yoga practice during your pregnancy, you are likely to *want* to return to your yoga practice postpartum. And you’re more likely to be consistent with your postpartum yoga practice, too.
Muscle memory is a powerful thing.
And while figuring out how to move again postpartum can be an adventure, not to mention tricky to find the time, it’s well worth the effort.
Even if you’re just doing cat/cow, your body will thank you. And cat/cow is actually a great place to restart your yoga practice postpartum. No matter what you do when you get back on your mat, your body will be deeply grateful. And she will remember how to move.
Be consistent throughout your pregnancy and the ROI, return on investment, will be greater when you’re ready to get back on your mat!
Personally, I think these are some fantastic reasons to practice yoga during pregnancy. If you haven’t started yet, no worries. You can start anytime! Your yoga mat awaits.
And if you need some extra support during your pregnancy or don’t know where to start, here’s my FREE yoga practice series for pregnancy, Prenatal Yoga Favorites.
You get 9 yoga practices that will support you and your body from the moment you decide to roll out your mat until baby is ready to make her entrance! Suitable for all trimesters, all bodies, and all levels of yogi.