The nine-month journey of pregnancy creates an unforgettable experience. The physical changes to a woman’s body coupled with new hormones can offer a sense of calm, and sometimes a side of discomfort. While many women with a consistent yoga practice stick to their normal yoga regimen during pregnancy (with a few modifications here and there), classes specifically geared towards mommies-to-be are a great option as the focus turns toward making space for baby, birth preparation, and connecting with other women.
Many of the core elements of traditional yoga practice directly align with the conditioning your body needs to thrive during all trimesters, and during the labor and delivery process. Yoga focuses on pranayama, or breath practice, which involves conscious, intentional focus on regulating your breath in times of increased stress, whether caused by a vigorous yoga pose or the intensity of labor. The attention to steady breath has been shown to regulate heart rate and body temperature, both of which prove to be incredibly vital for expecting mothers. Another core element of yoga practice involves strengthening of the bandhas, or body locks. For mommies-to-be, prenatal yoga can be the best way to strengthen the mula bandha, or pelvic floor, which involves many of the muscles integral to a smooth delivery. Additionally, strengthening the pelvic floor through any yoga practice helps expectant mothers carry their child with less pain, less injury, and more safety for both mother and baby. A consistent yoga practice has also historically been associated with proper hormone regulation. For pregnant women, yoga can help regulate mood swings, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve sleep—all of which can lead to a happier, healthier mommy!
For expectant mothers who are looking to add another level of benefits to prenatal yoga (as well as an element of whimsy), there’s an alternative option: prenatal aerial yoga. By incorporating aerial silks, these women can experience a sense of lightness and relief that soon-to-be moms can often find unattainable.
The hammocks offer a womb-like sensation during relaxation, which encourages a connection to the baby’s experience and a deeper understanding of what’s happening inside. For those expectant mothers worried about the intensity of prenatal exercise and its effects, the aerial silks provide additional assistance that allows practitioners to adjust the intensity of the movements to safe and tolerable levels. Core strength is a primary emphasis in yoga, however, strengthening these muscles during pregnancy involves a delicate balance. While this can help decrease lower back pain, nausea, carpal tunnel syndrome, headaches, and shortness of breath, balancing strengthening with stretching is essential in preventing painful abdominal muscle tearing that is common during pregnancy.
We developed a program that delivers the benefits of yoga with the additional assistance of aerial silks to provide a safe, healthy workout in a community of mommies seeking the best for their babies and their bodies!
The Little Yoga House offers FlyMama, a prenatal aerial yoga class taught by Stacey Wooster. The class combines traditional yoga benefits with aerial yoga to help expecting mothers move through the transformations of the pregnant body with peace and ease.