Hey there mama,
During pregnancy, we start making plans. We make plans to find the right care provider. We make plans for the perfectly themed nursery room. We make plans for daycare or hiring a nanny. We make plans for birth, how we want to birth, where, and who we want present.
Making plans can be a beautiful process. It gives us a sense of order and security in our lives, and is often a by-product of becoming more informed about our options and choices during pregnancy and new motherhood.
But, what happens when things don’t go to plan? I.e. Your doctor isn’t the one on call during your labor or your midwife had an emergency. You’re still not off the waitlist at a local daycare. And, a big one, maybe your birth doesn’t go quite the way you had “expected” or planned [not necessarily that there is an emergency, it’s just different than imagined].
There are many, many benefits to practicing prenatal yoga - feeling better physically, understanding how the body changes to support a baby, connecting with your baby, easing anxiety. BUT, here’s my number one reason why prenatal yoga is so important:
Practicing yoga helps you pay attention to your intuition.
And, dear mama, your intuition is worth way more than you might realize. Tuning into your inner voice is highly valuable during your pregnancy, birth experience and those early days postpartum.
So, how does yoga connect us with intuition? When we are moving through a yoga practice, we are learning more about our bodies. The fusion of breath in yoga postures as well as during meditation helps us develop an ability to be in the moment and to actually notice what feels good and what doesn’t, while also actually teaching us more of what we need. Yoga teachers are guides in this process. While I love coming to a practice with thoughts for the movement itself, it is even more satisfying when students decide that they might use a prop to make a posture more easeful or they might decide to rest in childs pose, even if I haven’t made that suggestion.
This “practice” comes right into our experiences during pregnancy and certainly during birth. In pregnancy we might find that while we typically enjoy a stronger movement oriented yoga class, that actually a slower or restorative practice is just what we need to boost energy for the day.
During birth, we might decide that we’ve had enough laboring while on our side and now prefer to get on all fours. We learn to tune into what our body is asking us to do, and to work with our babies as we move towards birth.
On a spiritual or emotional level, our intuition might help us make the choice of switching care providers during pregnancy or asking that a certain ailment be further looked into. During birth, it might resonate as an ability to turn completely inwards, shutting out the noise and focusing on our breath and our babies.
So, yes. Please keep practicing yoga to relieve your back pain, pelvic pain, and stretch your hips. Keep practicing to open up the pelvis and find more strength in the legs. Keep practicing to ease anxiety and stressors from day-to-day life. But, also remember that prenatal yoga is helping you to gain a better understanding of what YOU need for your body, baby, and mental health at any given moment…regardless of what anyone else says around you. It’s true, that you know what’s best for your body and your baby. You just have to pause and listen. Yoga cultivates intuition so beautifully.
Have you found this to be true? What do/did you love about practicing yoga during pregnancy or postpartum? How has it helped? I’d love to hear from you.
P.S. If you also follow the Yoga Dear letters, you might have heard that we have a little surprise coming pretty soon! Thank you so much for being a part of this community. I can’t wait to spill the beans on the bag we’ve sealed tight for the last few months.