Vicky in her Sweat Studios session. Yoga is a great way to relax and stay fit during pregnancy. It has many post-natal benefits for both mother and baby too. How yoga helped me through pregnancy, birth and beyond Yoga is a great way to relax and stay fit during pregnancy. It has many post-natal benefits for both mother and baby too. We talked to Vicky Haynes, aged 34 from Milton Keynes, about her experience and why yoga became the perfect exercise for her, pre and post baby. As well as providing a great way to keep in shape, yoga offered Vicky some much needed ‘me time’ and a way of relieving stress from work. Vicky was encouraged to give it a go by the whole host of celebrities that swear by Hot Yoga. And, as well as looking to tone up, Vicky hoped that the improved fitness and wellbeing might help her to conceive a child. Like many people though, Vicky wondered if yoga was too much about chanting and not enough about tangible physical benefits. Would it be too slow to feel like a workout? There was also the worry that it was ‘only for skinny people’.
However, she was not deterred by these preconceptions and she joined Sweat Studios in Milton Keynes. When we asked her about practising yoga, she said: ‘The exercises challenged me but I was guided every step of the way. Even in a full class my instructors would give me guidance and encouragement and help me to correct my postures. My confidence grew and I found the whole experience really friendly and welcoming.’ [caption id="attachment_1064" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Temporary ailments such as back tension, hip pain and fluid retention can all be caused by pregnancy – all of which can be alleviated through regular yoga[/caption] Luckily for Vicky she quickly fell pregnant and decided to continue with her yoga, swapping hot yoga for Sweat’s pre-natal yoga classes. Pregnancy can cause many temporary ailments such as back tension, hip pain and fluid retention – all of which can be alleviated through regular yoga: ‘Practising yoga while pregnant made me feel so relaxed and gave me a healthier state of mind. I wanted to build up my stamina and strength to prepare for the birth ahead.’ Her labour lasted just four hours and she got through it drug-free, using techniques she’d learnt during the classes: “I'm so uncoordinated that I couldn't use the gas and air correctly, so yoga breathing really helped. The midwife commented on my coping techniques and said that knowing the right postures can often help towards a more relaxed labour”. Once baby was born, Vicky was keen to return to the studio and get back into shape. She found herself missing yoga and decided to sign up for a post-natal yoga programme: ‘The classes were great. I enjoyed meeting other mums and the exercises really helped me sleep better at night. Working on my core gave me the extra strength I needed for lifting heavy car seats! My little one came along too and we both enjoyed the elements of baby massage.’ A few months post birth now, Vicky is fully back to her hot yoga classes and is enjoying rebuilding her fitness and stamina: “I’d recommend yoga to anyone. If you've never done it before don’t worry. I was a total novice before I started and now I love it. You can start at any point: pre-conception, during pregnancy, or post. Whatever the stage it will bring great benefits.”
[caption id="attachment_1017" align="alignleft" width="108"] Vicky attends classes at Sweat Studios, Milton Keynes[/caption] Vicky attends classes at Sweat Studios in Milton Keynes, who offer a wide variety of yoga classes to suit all tastes and abilities. The studio keeps yoga simple to make it accessible to all. No jargon, no pretence, just real yoga for a real workout. To discover what’s on offer, take a look at www.sweatstudios.co.uk or call on 01908 673811.