Yoga for mums-to-be

Pregnancy Yoga

Pregnancy Yoga

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Are you or your partner pregnant or a new mother?

Have you ever considered taking up yoga as a way to alleviate discomfort and stress before, during and after the birth?

If it is something which interests you, yoga teacher Heidi Danaher, of Laxey, could be of great use to you.

Her pregnancy yoga classes are run on Saturday mornings in Douglas.

She said: ‘Pregnancy yoga is the ideal way to bring the body into harmony with the changes and demands of pregnancy.

‘Yoga maintains and improves health – it allows us to trust our intuition, and ability to listen to the body.

‘This is vital for labour to progress naturally and brings calm if things don’t go quite according to plan.’

She explained: ‘By using, stretching and cultivating the muscles for birth, birth can be an easier and more natural experience.

‘The class provides an ideal opportunity for mums-to-be to focus on their own and their baby’s well-being and take time out to appreciate and prepare for the changes which are taking place.’

The breathing and relaxation skills learnt in Heidi’s class can be applied during and after birth.

She added that yoga can also alleviate many of the discomforts such as heartburn or backache, which may be experienced during pregnancy.

‘Yoga is the perfect way to prepare for birth, helping women to stay flexible, create energy and relieve stress,’ she explained.

The classes are designed to be suitable right up until the birth.

Pregnancy Yoga can help:

– Improve general physical wellbeing and posture.

– Position the baby well for labour.

– Combat tiredness.

– Alleviate associated discomforts such as: heartburn, backache, restricted breathing, sleep disturbance, anxiety.

Each class includes:

– Balanced range of appropriate yoga poses for pregnancy.

– Positions that are useful in labour.

– Self massage.

– Breathwork, to help with labour and birth.

– Relaxation.

– Refreshments at the end – including social time to meet other mums.

Heidi also teaches hypnobirthing courses, using the Mongan Method, and incorporates some of the hypnobirthing breathing relaxation exercises in the pregnancy yoga classes.

And she offers postnatal mum and baby yoga classes.

‘Yoga is also a great way to return the body to regular exercise after pregnancy too,’ she explained.

‘The postnatal period is a very special time for mothers and babies.

‘This programme of classes is specially designed to provide a warmly supportive environment where parents can get to know their baby, sharing beneficial practices to aid postnatal recovery and learning to relax in each others’ presence.’

The postnatal classes are suitable from the six week check up to crawling.

They offer a lively mix of practices for the babies – passive stretching and rhythmic movement accompanied by singing and action songs.

And postnatal recovery for mums – improving posture, re-energising and recovering strength and vitality.

Heidi said: ‘There are also lots of integrated yoga practices for mums and babies to do together.

‘The classes are friendly and relaxed so that babies can be fed, changed, dandled, soothed, and can sleep whenever they need.’

She explained that the sessions usually end with a period of relaxation, a cup of tea and a chat.

Heidi added: ‘The postnatal period is one of great change and adjustment.

‘During this time a woman is vulnerable to stress and strain on many different levels, so postnatal yoga is gentle and therapeutic.

‘The emphasis is upon nurturing and support. At a physical level the practices are designed to promote ease and comfort – stabilising the pelvis, toning the abdominal region, and supporting the lower back.’

But she added: ‘There are also practices to lift the spirits and re-energise, alternating with periods of recuperative rest.’

l For more information contact Heidi on 461461 or at yoga@manx.net

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