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Why Prenatal And Postpartum Yoga Is A Long-Lasting Gift You Can Give Yourself, Mom
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  • I had long been intrigued by yoga, but because of a busy corporate lifestyle, it was not a priority when I was trying to conceive my baby. It's only now after my prenatal and postpartum yoga teacher training that I realized how it could have helped me during the time that I was trying to conceive: physically, mentally, and emotionally.

    While high-risk pregnant mothers like myself (I had APAS) may not be allowed by our doctors to take yoga during pregnancy, I believe that this can help women prepare themselves while they are trying to get pregnant, and most of all, in dealing with postpartum stress. Contrary to what we usually see online, yoga is not all about executing challenging poses.

    Prenatal yoga, most especially, is hinged on Ahimsa, or non-violence to self or others. It focuses on doing poses that feel good to the mother, who is also taking care of a delicate life inside of her. It also means gentleness to oneself, the practice becoming a self-care activity amid the craziness of motherhood.

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    Prenatal and postpartum yoga give space for a mother to be fully present and mindful, especially when she is going through many changes.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of the author

    What's good about yoga is the practice teaches you meditation, which can help curb anxiety and stress. It gives you a whole wide range of movement that you can help manage body aches and pains. Most of all, it helps with breathing, which is crucial in childbirth (and when the baby won't stop crying during the fourth trimester!)

    Among the benefits of prenatal and postpartum yoga, the number one is how it helps manage body aches and pains through movement, stretching, and strengthening muscles. As my prenatal yoga instructor, Aimee Arguelles-Padilla of Medicale Yoga Institute, points out, it helps you prepare with birthing and motherhood through pranayama (breathing techniques) and meditation.

    In fact, she adds, prenatal and postpartum yoga help with the dramatic shift in your priorities and relationships. When the baby is born, all the more a mother can reap the benefits of yoga. The postpartum period is a big adjustment for most, if not all.

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    Aside from taking care of your baby round the clock, you are also dealing with healing your body, restoring your core, hormonal fluctuations, sleepless nights, and a dramatic shift in your priorities and relationships. Teacher Aimee, who had a waterbirth (her son is now 2 years old), says postpartum yoga can give tools to a mother to help cope with all these through purposeful movement, abdominal breathing, and meditation.

    It's a win-win situation for both the pregnant mother and her partner when they do yoga together.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of the author
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    Teacher Aimee also encourages the partners of pregnant mommas to attend her classes so that "they can have a grasp of what their partner is going through." Based on her experience, men actually enjoy their classes since they feel more mobile and relaxed afterward. What they learned during the yoga classes, specific asanas (postures), can also complement whatever sport or work out they are doing.

    "Everyone can learn and gain something for prenatal and postpartum yoga," Teacher Aimee beamed. "Savor this transitional and transformative phase in your life with a prenatal or postpartum yoga class.

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