Sweet Relief: Treat Yourself to the Benefits of Prenatal Yoga

In 2000, pregnant and experiencing health complications, Ruta Kulys turned to meditation practices to help relieve her stress and better prepare for her child’s birth. It worked so well, she knew she was onto something.

A licensed clinical social worker at Memorial Counseling Associates, Kulys followed up her positive experience with meditation practices by receiving professional training in mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR), which teaches meditation and yoga to help people manage stress. Her knowledge and talent as a yoga instructor led her to partner with Memorial’s Family Maternity Suites to offer prenatal yoga classes.

Prenatal yoga can be an ideal way to stay in good physical condition during your pregnancy and is a great way to take care of yourself and your growing little one. During a time of rapid physical and emotional changes, prenatal yoga provides relief from the common discomforts of pregnancy and time for deep relaxation.

Here are some benefits that can be gained from the practice:

Relaxation

As a pregnant woman relaxes deeply, her breathing slows, blood pressure falls and her body stops releasing stress hormones. This also can lead to improved digestion and a stronger immune system. And perhaps, more importantly, as mothers relax, their babies receive the benefits of this relaxation.

Relief

Yoga promotes optimal alignment as the body changes, resulting in better posture that can provide relief from back, neck and shoulder tensions. Gentle movement also can provide release from common discomforts of pregnancy.

Better Breathing

Breathing practices help women prepare for childbirth, and yoga teaches pregnant women mindful breathing that can help them relax the body and calm the mind, which is useful during labor.

Time for You

Prenatal yoga provides pregnant women an opportunity to recharge their batteries by encouraging them to pause and enjoy this time in their lives.

Time for Baby

Expecting mothers can focus their attention inward on their baby and the bond she has with him or her during a prenatal yoga session.

Time with Other Moms-to-Be

In a prenatal yoga class setting, women are in the company of other pregnant women, often with due dates close to their own. Each class allows time for them to share the thrills and concerns of pregnancy and to share resources.

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The next series of Family Maternity Suites prenatal yoga classes will be held on Thursday evenings at 6:30 p.m., April 12 through May 17. The hour-long sessions are held at the Gus and Flora Kerasotes YMCA/Memorial SportsCare facility at 4450 W. Iles Ave.