6 Awesome Things That Might Happen If You Do Prenatal Yoga
Congrats, you’re preggo! This officially grants you nine months of sanctioned complaining about your feet, lying around watching House Hunters and sending your husband to the grocery store for 11 p.m. Oreos. But should you also try a form of prenatal exercise during this oh-so-special time? Here are some awesome things that might happen if you sign up for a pregnancy-friendly yoga class.
You Might Feel Less Anxious
You’ve got a nursery to decorate, a crib to put together and, oh yeah, a forthcoming human to raise. But studies suggest that women who do prenatal yoga see reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol—and hence feel less anxious about the whole pregnancy thing.
...And Sleep Better
Having trouble getting your eight hours? Another study found that women who began Hatha yoga in their second trimester had significantly fewer awakenings and perceived sleep disturbances than their non-yoga-practicing counterparts.
You Might Have an Easier Labor
To some extent, this is mind over matter: As you teach your body to hold poses and focus inward, you prepare yourself for the mental fortitude needed to get through the thing. But it can also prep you on a physical level—encouraging your muscles to be more open and flexible and sometimes even prompting a posterior or breech baby into a head-down position.
You Might Feel Less Nauseous
Feeling barfy every time you look at, well, food? Yoga can help. Many women report that specific poses practiced in the first trimester vastly help with queasiness and fatigue. Bring it, “reclining hero.”
...And Less Prone to Back Pain
Intense weight gain? Check. Shifting center of gravity? Check. Dull, aching pain in the center of your lower back? Check, check, check. Luckily, there are a handful of breathing exercises and poses designed to strengthen your joints, align your spine and improve your mind-body connection. Any good prenatal class will incorporate them.
You Will Definitely Look Adorable
C’mon. How cute is that big ol’ belly?