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Just Breathe! Prenatal Yoga in Toronto

Terese Mason Pierre
Yoga, as a whole, is optimal for relaxation and meditation, but it can also help ease the stress and pains of pregnancy, as many expectant parents in Toronto are discovering. So, why should you do yoga while pregnant? It’s got to be dangerous, right? Well, yoga during pregnancy can help: prenatal yoga
  • Develop stamina and strength: As the baby grows, you need more energy to carry the weight. The yoga can help strengthen your back and hips.
  • Relieve tension: As pregnancy continues, more stress is put on the lower back, hips, chest, and yoga help to mitigate that pressure.
  • Calm the nervous system: Through deep breathing, the parasympathetic nervous system (responsible for relaxation) activates which positively affects digestion and sleep.
  • Increase circulation: When your joints and muscles are stretched and elongated, circulation is increased. Swelling decreases with improved circulation, creating a healthy environment for baby.
  • Connection with baby: Prenatal yoga allows you to focus on nothing but your body and become aware of what is happening within it, i.e., your baby, via each breath and pose.
In addition, taking prenatal yoga in a class of other pregnant women is a great way to build community. If that’s convincing enough for you, there are a variety of pregnancy yoga studios around Toronto, with helpful professionals to ensure you’re relaxed and comfortable. prenatal yoga classes
  • Yoga Mamas: An extensive, one-stop-shop service that offers prenatal yoga, prenatal classes, doula services, massage and acupuncture, childcare, and even baby photography sessions. In terms of prenatal yoga, Yoga Mamas offer fourteen classes a week; pregnant people are welcome to have their partners accompany them to sessions. There are even yoga classes for mothers and babies. Yoga Mama classes come with a fee, but there are many options.
  • Fire Flow: This program offers prenatal yoga classes in Toronto three times a week, and their website contains videos on breathing techniques, a “sample class” as well as many testimonials; postnatal yoga classes are also available. Unlike Yoga Mamas, Fire Flow offers general yoga classes with different emphases, as opposed to solely prenatal yoga.
  • Spynga: This yoga and cycling studio offers various kinds of prenatal and mother-and-baby yoga classes, such as: prenatal yoga bootcamp, mama + babe core restore and mama + babe sculpt. There are American as well as Canadian (in Toronto) locations and programs to train yoga teachers.
Yoga consists of a series of certain movements and poses aimed at getting the person to breathe and stretch properly and for a specific amount of time. The best poses (asanas) for pregnant people are below: Cobbler's pose
  • Cobbler’s/Tailor’s sitting pose which helps open the pelvis.
  • Pelvic tilt/Cat-Cow which is helpful if you have a back pain.
  • Side-lying position: This is a good resting pose while you repeat breathing exercises.
But be warned! The body goes through huge physical and mechanical changes during pregnancy, and complications can arise when you’re moving, bending and stretching. There are some precautions you need to take!
  • Avoid movements that require lying flat on your back for a long time. This will put pressure on vital blood vessels. But, since women are different, some may find this position comfortable - it’s up to you.
  • For obvious reasons, don’t do the headstand or shoulder stand poses.
  • Skip the poses that stretch the abdominal muscles - like twists or back bends and; your growing uterus is already loosening the connective tissue in your abdomen, and you’re more apt to tear the muscles by doing harder stretching.
  • Stay clear of hot yoga classes (32 degrees Celsius or higher), as this can cause overheating.
Whether you’re an experienced prenatal yogi or new to the scene, it can be fun to try something new for the sake of your and your baby’s health. Becoming a parent will bring new experiences in your life regardless of if you expect them, so it’s great to get ahead. Have fun!
Terese Mason Pierre February 07, 2016

Padma Yogi Prenatal yoga is wonderful - you connect with your baby and prepare for labour and childbirth. Classes running at the Toronto Birth Centre with Padma Yogi. www.padmayogi.com
Reply April 24, 2016
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