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Expert Prenatal Yoga Tips that Translate to Labor

I’ve often said that prenatal yoga was the most important preparation I had for labor.

The breathing techniques, meditative exercises, overall body awareness — not to mention the actual physical strengthening.

I’m not the only one who knows that yoga and labor can go hand-in-hand. Sarah Longacre is a yogi and founder of Blooma yoga and educational centers, and she’s also a doula who assisted in over 550 births.

We asked her for her best prenatal yoga tips, and how they translate to labor:

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  • Strike Goddess Pose 1 of 9
    Strike Goddess Pose
    "This pose allows moms-to-be to go deeper with their inner goddess and baby. It also strengthens legs and opens hips, so it's an ideal pose to practice in preparation for childbirth."
  • Strike Goddess Pose 2 of 9
    Strike Goddess Pose
    "Hold for 3-4 minutes while listening to an elevating and empowering song. This helps you build up endurance that will help you for your child's birthday and echo in to motherhood."
  • Be Open 3 of 9
    Be Open
    "Open up with poses such as Tabletop to Cat and Warrior 2. And then open your mind to what your birth experience might be like. There are hundreds of different ways your birth might go, do your research but then let go and be open to where your birth takes you."
  • Sink Into Yoga Squats 4 of 9
    Sink Into Yoga Squats
    "This position is an optimum way to allow gravity to help out the birthing process. Practice this yoga pose throughout pregnancy to strengthen your legs, open hips, build pelvic floor muscles and gain comfort in a position that could help you out during delivery."
  • Practice Vocal Breathing and a Loose Jaw 5 of 9
    Practice Vocal Breathing and a Loose Jaw
    "Exhaling audibly and relaxing the jaw helps ease pregnancy tension and keep your body relaxed. The yoga instructors at Blooma find that practicing this deep register for breathing and release is also incredibly helpful during birth, making it easier to stay calm and keep muscles loose as contractions progress."
  • Build Your Community 6 of 9
    Build Your Community
    "Blooma starts each yoga session with introductions from other moms, including guess date, where they're birthing, and question of the day. This builds connections and allows women to share what they've learned about potential birthing sites, midwives, OB-GYN's and more. Build your community of other expectant moms, practice yoga together, and share the journey!"
  • Surrender and Be Vulnerable 7 of 9
    Surrender and Be Vulnerable
    "Yoga not only makes pregnancy more comfortable and keeps your body in shape, it also prepares you for birth and motherhood. Surrender on the mat, let go of your fears, let your body and breath lead you."
  • Buy the Blooma Well Prenatal Yoga DVD 8 of 9
    Buy the Blooma Well Prenatal Yoga DVD
    Sarah Longacre has a full 60-minute, all-levels prenatal yoga instructional DVD designed to strengthen your body and mind for labor. The DVD also also includes five birth videos, one-the-go yoga music, and more labor tips/birth resources.
    Buy from Amazon, $24.99
  • Video Preview 9 of 9
    Video Preview
    See a preview of the DVD at bloom.com.

Learn more about Blooma.

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Read more of Michelle’s writing at Early Mama.

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