While yoga has become wildly popular amongst all ages, genders and lifestyles, the benefits of this mind and body exercise on a pregnant woman and her unborn child are almost unsurpassed.

Many women may try to avoid yoga, especially in the later parts of their pregnancy when just getting off the couch sounds like a challenge, but there are so many reasons why the bigger your belly gets, the more you should incorporate some daily poses.

  1. Bringing some peace. No matter what your current lifestyle, pregnancy amplifies any difficulties by ten. Whether you have other children running around requiring the vast majority of your brain power and energy, a taxing job that expects a solid forty hours or more, or even just spending your days at home trying to keep a house running, there are days when pregnancy makes life seem unbearable. By practicing yoga for just fifteen minutes a day, we can slow our minds, calm our bodies and just get to enjoy being pregnant in the midst of all the chaos.
  2. A sound mind. Pregnancy-brain is no stranger to anyone who has bore a child. The change in hormones, shift in blood volume and obsession with mothering an infant can all take a toll on your brain, leaving you feeling foggy and confused. Yoga helps balance our hormones, even during some of the major shifts, lowers our blood pressure and focuses our minds. By hitting the mat, you can reap the benefits of clarity that come with many of the poses.
  3. Endurance. While sitting on the couch with our swollen ankles propped as high as we can manage sounds like a dream come true, it actually just makes the pregnancy more challenging as the months creep by. Starting yoga from the moment you see those two pink lines on the stick will lessen morning sickness, increase energy and strengthen muscles you forgot you had. Each of these benefits will make the grueling first trimester and the exhausting third trimester much more manageable.
  4. Labor preparation. No matter what type of birth you plan to have (medicated, natural, or scheduled cesarean), prenatal yoga is key to helping you through the birth as well as the recovery. Yoga helps to widen the hips, strengthen the pelvis and prepare your body for the physical strength and stamina that is so important for a vaginal birth. There are also ample benefits if you are looking toward a cesarean like strengthening your abdominal muscles, calming your breathing and boosting your immune system.
  5. Getting your body back. Pregnancy can take a physical toll on your body and many women have the plan of letting themselves go and then pushing full swing after the baby is born. This rarely works as the body is left weak and exhausted. By practicing prenatal yoga, your body will remain strong and prepared to tackle the difficult task of regaining your pre-baby figure making the process take weeks instead of months or years.

No matter what type of pregnancy you have, striving to practice yoga for fifteen minutes at least three times a week throughout the entire nine months will offer you so many benefits. The upside is that even on those difficult days, laying and sitting poses offer just as many benefits as the strenuous standing and balancing ones. So grab your mat, your comfiest pair of maternity sweats, a bottle of water and give yourself and your baby the benefits of this miraculous exercise!