By Kimaya Singh
Are prenatal Yoga classes needed? With over four million babies born in the United States each year, women of childbearing age make up a sizable portion of the consumer market. Along with health care and child-related products, there is a need for exercise programs that meet the guidelines established by the American College of Obstetrician and Gynecologists. One of the most popular is Prenatal Yoga. While anyone can benefit, mothers-to-be need classes designed with their safety and comfort in mind.
The Need For Prenatal Yoga Classes
Although women sometimes continue their usual Yoga practices while pregnant, doing so may not be a good idea. The temptation to maintain previous levels of performance is greater in a mixed group than in specialized classes where everyone is pregnant.
It is also hard for most Yoga teachers to supervise a single student while giving adequate attention to the rest of the class. Besides, students who have never done Yoga are already learning a new skill. To expect them or untrained instructors to anticipate challenges during this transitional period is unrealistic.
Studies show that Yoga contributes to good physical and emotional health – but only if it is safely practiced. The following examples demonstrate the need for Prenatal Yoga classes.
• Trained and certified prenatal Yoga instructor specialists know how to choose safe poses and adapt them to meet students’ needs. This may include the use of props, such as blocks, chairs, or walls.
• They also understand the physical and emotional changes going on during pregnancy and provide support and encouragement.
• Prenatal Yoga classes cater to specific concerns, such as swelling, insomnia, and mood disorders. Babies are happier when their mothers are relaxed and healthy.
• Prenatal Yoga classes allow students to bond with others who are going through the same process. Studies show that caring relationships are vital to good health.
• Good Yoga instructors know how to spot red flags, such as situations that could lead to oxygen deprivation or high body temperatures.
• Students learn to listen to their instincts and trust themselves. Prenatal Yoga classes also teach breathing and meditative techniques that complement traditional childbirth classes, such as Lamaze.
Many gynecologists already recommend Yoga to their patients. As its benefits become a part of the mainstream, there will be an increased demand for certified Prenatal Yoga teachers. The prerequisite to become a certified prenatal Yoga instructor is level 1 teaching experience at the 200 hour level. At that point, an experienced Yoga teacher can venture into the realm of prenatal or postnatal Yoga by taking a specialist course. Many prenatal courses average in the 100 hour range. With contraindications for three different trimesters an aspiring prenatal Yoga instructor should consider a comprehensive course.
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