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Yoga – benefitting mother and baby

Pregnant Samoan mothers attending the Pacific Healthy Babies Healthy Futures Workshops are discovering the benefits of yoga classes.

Yoga instructor Laura Brinkman says yoga, a spiritual, mental and physical practise that originated in India thousands of years ago, is an ideal way for mothers to stay in touch during pregnancy.

“It improves your balance and circulation, helps you become more flexible and tones your muscles with little, if any, impact on your joints,” says Laura.

“It’s also good for mothers because it helps you learn to breathe and relax. It comes in handy when facing the physical demands of labour, birth and motherhood and gives you a greater overall sense of wellbeing.”

Samoan mothers participating in the yoga classes agree, saying it has helped alleviate the back pain they were starting to feel as their expectant babies grew.

Scientific studies have also shown that yoga helps the body deal with stress by slowing heart and breathing rates and lowering blood pressure.

But Laura stresses that the benefits of yoga are most effective when combined with a healthy diet.

“If you combine the benefits of yoga to your body and mind with what goes in the body through healthy, nutritious food, you and your baby are benefitting before he or she is even born.”

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Healthy Babies Healthy Futures