Posted on Friday 10th March 2023 in Blog…
“A great night’s sleep every Wednesday” with Pregnancy Yoga
The most common comment I hear from my pregnant women is what a satisfying sleep they enjoy following the Pregnancy Yoga class
Tamara heads for her mat saying, “I’m looking forward to a good sleep tonight”,
and Maria agrees, ‘ahhhh the after-Yoga sleep’
Having specialised in teaching Birthlight Pregnancy Yoga classes for the past 25 years, following on the back of an enjoyable time studying and working as a Yoga Therapist at the Yoga Biomedical Trust (1), I know only too well that some Yoga claims have little substance, but are proclaimed with the best of intentions (2). That is not to say that Yoga doesn’t have a whole wealth of benefits, and over the past 15 years there has developed a growing body of evidence-based research to support the value of the practice. For example, probably the largest body of research supports how Yoga is proven to increase mobility and lessen pain for lower back pain sufferers (2)
To back up the ‘good night’s sleep claim’, a study in 2021 concluded that, ‘Prenatal Yoga exercises improve the sleep quality of third-trimester pregnant women.’ (3)
A culmination of a variety of factors contribute to a good night’s rest, incorporating the benefits of a decent amount of deep sleep and REM sleep (3).
-Yoga: stimulates the relaxation response physically and psychologically
-Yoga: increases the duration and quality of sleep
-Yoga: makes it easier to start sleeping
-Yoga: reduces back pain, tightness, and position discomfort to improve sleep
-Yoga: helps you feel fresher on awakening
The beneficial effects of Yoga on pregnant women are increasingly supported by evidence, and are obviously experienced by those who make the effort to attend classes. A systematic review of 10 randomized controlled trials suggested that those in the Yoga groups had a lower incidence of prenatal disorders, lower levels of pain and stress, higher relationship scores and greater gestational age offspring (4). The reviewers also concluded that Yoga was a more effective exercise than walking or standard prenatal exercises.
Perinatal depression reputedly affects approximately 20% of women and 10% of women are affected by perinatal anxiety. 13 publications that met inclusion criteria suggested that Yoga interventions reduced anxiety and depression (5) . Even a single session of yoga has been noted to decrease anxiety as well as cortisol levels in depressed pregnant women (6)
What to expect from Pregnancy Yoga:-
- – Gentle and slow movement and stretching
- – Antenatal yoga-based breathing practices
- – Combining yoga-based postures with controlled breathing
- – Deep baby-bonding relaxation
- – How to utilise a birthing ball effectively
- – Personally pertinent positive affirmations
- – Acknowledging baby during your practice
- – Adapting and moving at your own pace
With so much evidence accumulating for the benefits to both mother and baby pair, during pregnancy and even afterwards in the postnatal period (3), the solid value of specialised Yoga for pregnancy is undeniable.
Only one thing I would advise anyone seeking Yoga for pregnancy is to seek a qualified and experienced teacher in the field, so you and baby prepare for a good night’s sleep in safe hands.
Contact: Text or Phone Marion – 07867746233