~why you should add yoga into your prenatal care~
What thoughts come up for you when you are told that you are the expert of your own body? Check-up appointments with the OB or a midwife are imperative in checking in on the progress of the little one and receiving any guidance as you anticipate labor and birth. Checking blood pressures and weight on the scale can be indicative of how women are responding to the pregnancy. Providers and medical professionals are viewed as experts in their field, and their suggestions and opinions shouldn’t be taken lightly. But you are much more than the number on a scale. Your baby is more than the heartrate on the monitor. No one can tell you how you are experiencing pain or what you feel in your body. No one else can explain what you feel as you carry another heart of a living being. Way before your conception, you have lived in your body as you’ve learned your body’s tendencies, your limitations, and strengths, as well as what helps you feel good in your body. This ownership of your body should be valued and respected by families and friends, care providers, and anyone on your care team. But first, this respect for our ownership of our bodies must begin within ourselves.
Bending Willow Birth is a collective of women who believe firmly in the power of ownership. Mothers are encouraged to take their prenatal care into their own hands. Taking ownership of our bodies requires us to be more connected to our bodies. Yoga is often suggested to pregnant women due to its gentle movement and generally a safer way to exercise. But yoga is much deeper than an exercise program or gentle stretching. It is how we breathe, how we slow down, and how we connect internally to unite the mind, body, and spirit. It involves mindful movement, intentional breath-work, and discipline of meditation, and the magic of visualization. It is a lot like the process of physiological birth that is often disregarded. Yoga and birth have a lot of commonalities and can both be a life-changing, transformative experience. But our ‘societal norm’ may have taken away this profound experience by over medicalizing birth or popularizing yoga in the fitness and wellness industry.
To own your pregnancy and birth experience, you must first meet yourself at a deeper level. To strip away what you’ve known or what you’ve been told by others and listen internally. To acknowledge your pain and trauma and to heal. The journey of this transformative yoga practice, by practicing frequently with discipline and intention, can allow the pregnant woman to become more whole and aligned withing themselves. When a woman is more whole and aligned, she can heal better. She can find joy in the raw experiences. She can think and move clearly in approaching life obstacles and changes. She can tap into this inner strength in experiencing the magic of birth and the journey of motherhood.
Aside from the physical benefits of prenatal yoga, like reducing stress, balancing the nervous system, or strengthening our muscles, yoga can create opportunities for pregnant women to reflect and understand what is going on in their bodies. It allows women to build confidence and trust in themselves. Yoga can help women stay rooted as she navigates beyond birth and postpartum. When women can take ownership of their bodies, their mindsets, and their experience, it is more likely for them to have an experience that is more aligned to their desires.
Where to Find a Prenatal Yoga Class If you’re in Lexington, Kentucky, or surrounding areas, Whole Mama (babymoonlex.com) offers weekly prenatal yoga classes- both in-person and online.
If you’re looking for alternative options, there are tons of free prenatal yoga classes to explore on YouTube. As a doula and a certified prenatal yoga instructor, I offer private prenatal yoga classes online and in- person for those who are local.
If you are open to paying for a good quality class, mamastefit has a wonderufl series available as well. https://mamastefit.com/prepare-for-birth-bundles/
NEW! Online Prenatal Yoga Series for Childbirth Preparation
If you’re looking for something that is more flexible yet meaningful, I am launching an online prenatal yoga series for pregnant women who are looking for guidance in preparation for childbirth, both mentally and physically. I have been putting my heart and soul into this series and it is meant to be a spiritual journey for those who are ready to embark on a more conscious labor and birth experience. To book a private prenatal session with me or to receive updates on the prenatal series, email me at email@example.com
Regardless of which studio you walk into, if you practice at home, if you practice a lot of yoga or just a little, may you find a yoga practice that works best for you in this stage of life and a journey that feels like your own. Sending you well wishes into your journey of motherhood.