Yoga Mind While Expecting: The Psychological Benefits of Prenatal Yoga Practice

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International Journal of Childbirth Education

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Yoga is an effective complementary approach to both maintain and improve overall health. Yoga practice supports many dimensions of psychological well-being, including everyday stress, anxiety, depression, and coping with health challenges. With its combination of mental skills training and gentle physical exercise, yoga can be extremely effective in supporting physical and psychological health during pregnancy. Yoga has the potential to be even more effective when consciously and systematically integrated into an individuals overall self-care and medical care program, through deliberate and open dialogue among patients, healthcare professionals, and yoga professionals. The purpose of this article is to (1) briefly review the psychological benefits of yoga practice during pregnancy; (2) outline basic guidelines for childbirth educators interested in collaborating with qualified yoga instructors; and (3) provide instructional guidelines for childbirth educators interested in integrating yoga into prenatal education classes, including key poses and contraindications.