Tara Lee has been practicing yoga for over 20 years. She is a registered senior teacher with Yoga Alliance UK and is a trained Doula who has taught thousands of pregnant women, guiding them through their pregnancies and births. She is also a mum of 2.
Tara’s pregnancy yoga DVD boxset “Bump, Baby and Beyond” is now available online. Read on for Tara’s introduction to the benefits of pregnancy yoga.
Many women instinctively feel more connected to their bodies during pregnancy and more concerned with looking after themselves now that they have a new life growing inside. This makes it the perfect time to practice yoga even if you have never done any before.
Many expectant mums attend yoga classes thinking that they would like to stretch a little bit, or because they have been told it will be good for them and their babies. They soon discover after a few classes that not only have aches and pains disappeared, they also feel more energised and have a stronger connection to their bodies and their babies.
The stretches help to release tightness and tension from the muscles, but the breathing techniques used work on a deeper psychological level to release fears, anxieties and bring a feeling of calmness and clarity to the mind. Insomnia, sciatica, hip pain, rib pain, back ache, SPD (symphysis pubis dysfunction), pelvic girdle pain, headaches, anxieties and general discomfort can be drastically improved or disappear altogether with regular yoga practice.
As the bump starts to grow and the centre of gravity shifts, regular yoga practice can help fine tune the balance both physically and emotionally. The classes also offer tools (such as breathing techniques and positions for birth) to use during the labour that help women feel empowered, in control and able to deal with whatever turn their birthing takes.
Yoga to Aid Labour & Recovery
A regular yoga practice during pregnancy does not provide any guarantee of a ‘perfect’ birth. If anything it helps women realise that there is no such thing as the ‘ideal birth’ but that they can stay calm and open minded and embrace the experience. It helps women to develop the right mindset to cope well when things don’t go according to plan (as so often happens).
Using the movements, breathing and sound techniques learnt during the classes encourages the body to relax and open, supporting the labour, speeding up contractions and assisting and facilitating the whole labour process. Women who have practiced yoga through pregnancy are better able to listen to their bodies, to move instinctively and trust that their bodies know what to do.
Additionally the recovery after the birth will be better for women who are fit and healthy from yoga practice throughout pregnancy. They are less likely to suffer from prolapsed organs, pelvic floor weakness or incontinence and can apply the techniques they have learnt for their labour to cope with those exhausting first months to gain energy and stay calm.
Tara currently teaches ‘Pregnancy Yoga’, ‘Mother and Baby Yoga’ and ‘Vinyasa Flow Yoga’ at The Life Centre, Notting Hill Gate in London. Visit her website www.taraleeyoga.com to find out more. If you aren’t one of our lucky winners, her Bump, Baby and Beyond box set is now available from Amazon. This boxset contains pregnancy and postnatal Yoga DVDs to guide you through your pregnancy and help with your postnatal recovery after you have had your baby.