Why Practice Prenatal Yoga?

Tiina Kivinen Blog

‘What would it feel like if you could go deeper into the sensation? If you could surrender a little bit more? … connect with your body, breath, and baby… find your strength, open, and surrender… ‘

This is some of what you might hear in a Blooma Prenatal Yoga class. After experiencing 100 more hours of Blooma Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training in Costa Rica, I am re-inspired by the amazing power of prenatal yoga and am excited to teach it in Peterborough, Ontario.

The practice of Prenatal Yoga empowers women to trust in the wisdom of her body, which is one of the most profound benefits of Prenatal Yoga. However a woman births, whether with a midwife or doctor, in a hospital or at home, with pain management or without, no matter what kind of birth she wants or has, the practice of Yoga can help connect a mama with her innate ability to give birth and to manage the major life changes that come along with having a baby. The reasons why Prenatal Yoga is so awesome during pregnancy go on and on, but here are a few I would like to share:

Preparation for birth
Prenatal yoga offers women a physical experience that will strengthen what needs to strengthen and soften what needs to soften in preparation for birth. The postures and movements that we explore in class can actually be brought into your birth. In a 12 hour labour, a woman may spend approximately 2 hrs in contractions. What to do with those remaining 10 hrs? We explore so many movements that you can actually use in birth to help align the cervix, open the birth canal, strengthen the pelvic floor, bring baby into optimal positioning for birthing, as well as techniques for relaxation and breathing that help a woman relax in between contractions.

Prenatal Yoga can even have success in helping a breech baby turn. For many of us, we spend our days sitting down at a desk, driving a car, etc. How often are we squatting like our ancestors used to go to the bathroom or work in the fields gathering food? How often are we on all fours, scrubbing the floor? Prenatal yoga gets us into these positions that are so helpful for bringing ease into the changing pregnant body as well as allowing room for baby to move and align in the pelvis. WOW!

Riding the wave of sensation
Just like giving birth, yoga teaches us to ride waves of sensation. ‘During contractions, a woman may draw upon her experience of ‘being with’ unpleasant sensations from yoga class. She has experienced  the contrast between trying to push away and tightening or opening and yielding to her experience’ (Robin Sale, Whole Birth Yoga) How can we use sensation to open and give birth? The more a woman can open to experience sensations that arise, the more she will open and soften into that experience rather than push it away. This goes for emotional sensation as well, as yoga offers resources for riding the waves of emotion that arise both prenatally and after baby arrives. The ‘moment to moment awareness’ that yoga teaches is invaluable in dealing with the fears, anxieties and expectations surrounding pregnancy, birth, and new motherhood.

A community of other prenatal mamas!
My prenatal yoga classes always start with introductions, women enjoying the opportunity to meet and connect with other women experiencing pregnancy. Sharing resources and enjoying the opportunity to  connect in a community of support. I have had women meet in my Prenatal Yoga class and go on to become wonderful friends, often joining my Baby and Me Yoga class!

Namaste!
~Tiina

Prenatal Yoga is for women in any stage of pregnancy.  Contact me with questions or to register!

Tiina Kivinen is over 500 hrs certified Yoga Teacher, with nearly 10 yrs experience teaching. She has completed over 180 hrs of Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training and has been on staff for Blooma Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training through Nosara Yoga Institute.

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