Prenatal Yoga is a series of yogic breathing techniques (Pranayama) and poses (Asana) that is modified to suit the pregnancy needs of expectant mothers.
During pregnancy, there are a variety of changes that occur in the body that may cause some pregnant women to experience discomfort or even pain. These include physical changes (such as gaining of weight, rounding of the spine, and swelling of the feet), physiological changes (such as hormonal shifts as well as heart and circulatory functions), and the functional changes of the organs (such as the kidneys, urinary tract, gall bladder, digestive system, and metabolic systems).
At OhmSantih Yoga, our Prenatal Yoga classes in Singapore are designed to help you prepare for these changes and get through your pregnancy period with minimal discomfort, and at the same time prepare you for a smooth natural delivery by learning how to cope with the intensity of contractions. Each class is 90 minutes and generally consists of breathing exercises (pranayama), postures workout (asana) and lastly, a relaxation exercise (savasana) – all in a sequential manner.
The breathing exercises will have a relaxing effect and this sense of calmness will allow your body to regulate your hormones better during pregnancy. These breathing exercises will also become extremely useful during labour as it will help you to manage the pain and keep calm. This is very important as your body needs to produce oxytocin during labour to stimulate contractions and move the baby down and out of the birth canal, but when you are overly tense due to the intensity of contractions, the adrenalin produced will inhibit the oxytocin production.
For Pregnancy Yoga, the postures workout is a modified version of Ashtanga Yoga postures to ensure that they are absolutely safe during pregnancy. Lessons will focus on strengthening the various muscle groups needed to support the additional weight during pregnancy (Legs, Core, Spine), the various muscle groups needed for labour and delivery (Core, Pelvic), and improving blood circulation to prevent water retention which is the main cause of swelling in the feet of pregnant women. Every lesson also focuses very much on both strengthening and stretching the hips – so that even as your hips gradually expand due to pregnancy hormones and in preparation for delivery, you still maintain stability and the ability to carry your growing baby’s weight well through to the third trimester. Equally important is the meditative rest (Savasana) at the end of each lesson to further deepen the benefits of the postures and breathing through a calming relaxation guided by the teacher.