Practicing yoga has brought a sense of peace to our minds and bodies through meditation for centuries. For this reason, mental health yoga has been a popular reason to start, and yoga for beginners covers many of the benefits of learning and integrating yoga into our lives. Yoga for stress is just one of the many yoga health benefits, but sometimes it can seem like this spiritual practice is tailored for those who’re single or live alone. But that’s far from the truth; everyone can benefit from the unique benefits yoga creates. Yoga for moms is a great way for new or longtime mothers to experience a more balanced life while they journey their way through parenthood.
What is Yoga?
The practice of yoga has a long history, beginning with mentions of its spiritual applications traced back to around 5,000 to 10,000 years ago. Initially mentioned in the ancient Hindu text of Rigveda, yoga has since developed into a wellness exercise expanding across Asia and into Western culture. Today, yoga has made its way into the health industry, and despite widespread popularity, we often forget its original roots and benefits.
Yoga is defined as a combination of physical and mental meditations that strive to quiet the mind, connecting the physical presence to the mind. But until almost a century ago, yoga remained unstudied. About 96 years ago, it finally underwent modern scientific research, defining the differences between meditation and yoga, and proving its health benefits.
Mental Benefits of Yoga
Yoga has become appealing to many for its benefits for those suffering from mental ailments, such as depression or anxiety. According to some studies, yoga should be considered a treatment therapy due to its ability to create relaxation, confidence, and optimism in everyday life.
Research has found that yoga creates new brain cells, connections within your brain, and a renewed ability to learn and remember. Those who integrated yoga into their life more frequently had thicker cerebral cortexes than their counterparts despite the shrinkage age contributes to. Meditation, an active part of yoga, has also been found to decrease activity in the limbic system of our brain and decrease emotional reactivity to stressful situations.
Physical benefits of yoga
For busy moms, it can be harder to find the chance to exercise regularly. Therefore, as mothers navigate parenthood, they might be missing out on physical health benefits. And although yoga may not seem like the most active type of exercise, it can have some of the same benefits as hitting the gym.
Exercise is also known for its mental benefits, and that’s no different from yoga. Yoga can lower stress hormones and increase other chemicals like endorphins and gamma-aminobutyric acid that encourage feelings of happiness. And as yoga increases your mental stability, it also increases your physical strength. Studies have also found it an effective way to reduce inflammation, boost immunity in those who suffer from immune-compromised illnesses, benefit bone health, and improve cardiovascular function.
Yoga Benefits For Moms and Babies
For moms, many of these benefits are the same, but they might also be applicable for preparing for birth and treating its effects. By practicing yoga, new mothers can strengthen their muscles and pelvic floor, alleviating pain during and after childbirth. This in turn restores mothers’ health to a better condition. For moms that are still expecting, studies have found yoga can also be a great way to keep stress free and prevent preterm birth, lowered immune systems, and other pregnancy complications.
Participating with your baby is a fun way to start exploring yoga as a mother. Postnatal yoga with your baby can benefit your health, but it can also help ensure that your baby grows up healthy too. Having your baby join in on the exercise can nurture a mother’s bond with her child, aid digestion in newborns, help babies sleep better, and welcome them into a safe and loving environment. Studies have found that yoga with babies can prevent postpartum depression by creating oxytocin that’ll help in bonding.
A Few Yoga Tips
But it can be challenging for moms to start yoga at all. Being a mom is a full-time job, but taking time to attend classes or putting aside time in your own house might be a good first step. When you start feeling exhausted, take some time to relax and find some routines that can provide you with the health benefits you need. Make sure all routines are safe, comfortable, and recommended after birth.
Yoga isn’t just for certain people; moms can benefit from the best health benefits as well. Improving your mental, physical, and even your baby’s health can start with the routines that work for you, welcoming you to motherhood with an understanding and caring community.
This article is meant to be informational and should not be treated as medical advice. You should always consult with your physician for any personal concerns or when feeling ill and before starting any new supplements.