Have you thought about incorporating prenatal yoga into your childbirth classes? It’s a great way for women to prepare for childbirth, and by introducing just a few basic yoga poses during class, you’ll help your students relax and ease any pregnancy-related discomfort. Read on to discover the benefits of prenatal yoga and which poses are best for your expectant mothers.
Why prenatal yoga is beneficial
Prenatal yoga is a safe, low-impact way for pregnant women to exercise, combining stretching, strength training, focused breathing and mindfulness to help pregnant women feel better both physically and mentally. The practice of yoga can also be conducive to a more positive birth experience. According to research, prenatal yoga offers the following benefits to pregnant women:
- Improved sleep
- Reduction in stress and anxiety
- Decreased back and leg pain, shortness of breath, headaches and overall physical discomfort
Best stretches and poses
There are several stretches and poses that are especially beneficial for pregnant women. Below are a few you can use in your classes.
- Child's pose: During this pose, women can focus on relaxing and breathing deeply into the back to ease tension.
- Sitting side stretch (seated side bend): This stretch helps open the waist and pelvis, stretch the hips, and decrease lower back pain.
- Triangle pose: Helping stretch the legs, sides, hips, and shoulders, the triangle pose does wonders for the entire body.
- Cat-cow pose: Perfect for taking pressure off those growing bellies and alleviating back pain.
Browse online resources for more information on these poses and for additional suggestions.
How to incorporate prenatal yoga into your classes
If you like the idea of adding prenatal yoga to your classes but are concerned about exactly how to do it, there’s nothing wrong with easing into it. Simply begin or end each class with some of the poses and stretches suggested above and perhaps a few others you discover through additional research. Starting every class with prenatal yoga is an excellent way to set the tone for the rest of the class and get everyone relaxed and engaged while closing out each class with some postures will send your students home with a sense of calm and relief.
Experiment with timing to determine whether yoga at the beginning or end of class works with your lesson plan. You may even decide on both! Regardless, your students are sure to love how they feel after practicing some of these restorative moves!