If you're pregnant and looking for ways to relax and stay fit in the Okanagan, consider yoga! Prenatal Yoga helps you prepare for labor, connect with other expecting mamas and encourages bonding with your baby. We've talked before about the benefits of Prenatal Yoga. Now let's talk about what happens in a prenatal yoga class.
My first thought upon visiting one of Mandala Mamas prenatal yoga classes, was how inspiring it was to see all these pregnant women come together. It was great to see moms in varying stages of pregnancy and there were even some trying it out for their first time. I love how Megan, the owner and founder of Mandala Mamas, takes time before the actual yoga part begins to go over health & wellness. As a mom herself, it was great to see her sharing advice and caring about the mom's journey outside of the class, and not just during that allotted time. But what else goes on in your average class?
A typical Prenatal Yoga class involves:
Inhale. Exhale. Breathing is an important area to learn to control. You'll focus on your own slow, deep breathing. Prenatal yoga breathing techniques might help you reduce or manage shortness of breath during pregnancy and work through contractions during labor.
Gentle stretching. You'll be encouraged to gently move different areas of your body, such as your neck and arms, through their full range of motion. Prenatal classes are designed to strengthen the muscles used in labor and to stretch muscles that get stiff and sore from lack of mobility.
Postures. While sitting, standing or lying on the ground, you'll gently move your body into different positions aimed at developing your strength, flexibility and balance. The poses in a prenatal class will also focus on opening your hips, stretching your lower back, chest, shoulders and strengthening your thighs. Megan knows every mom has different ranges of flexibility/comfort levels at different stages of pregnancy and is very accommodating with modifications if you're unable to do a specific pose.
Cool down and relaxation. At the end of each prenatal yoga class, you'll relax your muscles and restore your resting heart rate and breathing rhythm. It's a time to connect with your baby and focus on your breathing.
Community. This is a great way to connect with other pregnant mamas and to stay active during all stages of pregnancy. The intimate setting of these classes provide the opportunity to build community and to share in conscious conversation.
Having a daily or weekly yoga practice can help you slow down, connect with the present moment + surrender to the uncertainties of life. Before you know it, your little one will be arriving, and the resources you learn now will come much more naturally when you've already had the chance to practice them.
Have you already had your baby? Mandala Mamas also offers Baby + Me Yoga which incorporates many of the same techniques as above and includes your baby. Mandala Mamas offers weekly yoga classes online (via Zoom) and in studio in Kelowna and West Kelowna. For more information contact Megan directly through her website or on social media.
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