Yoga has been implications and benefits for your overall health and fitness including when you are pregnant. Yoga during pregnancy can be very beneficial provided you do it safely and take certain precautions.
Benefits of Prenatal Yoga
Yoga helps the breathing and makes the body and mind relax, which helps regulate the physical demands of pregnancy, labor, birth and motherhood. It relives the mental and physical stresses associated with pregnancy. In addition, you can meet other mothers-to-be in the prenatal yoga class so that you can share your experience.
Prenatal yoga classes are very popular. It is an ideal way to maintain your shape during pregnancy, especially when paired with a cardiovascular exercise. It keeps your limber strong, tones your muscles and improves blood circulation and balance. It helps you stay calm during the labor pains and childbirth as well as deal with stress by reducing the heart rate, lowering the blood pressure and slowing the breathing. It is very beneficial for new mothers during and after pregnancy.
Recommendations for Prenatal Yoga
However, you should follow some guidelines and precautions when joining a prenatal yoga class.
- If you have joined a regular yoga class, which is not specific for pregnant women, tell your yoga instructor that you are pregnant and the trimester you are in.
- Don’t practice any poses on your back after the first trimester as it can reduce the blood flow to the uterus.
- You should avoid stretching your muscles too much, especially the abdominal muscles. During pregnancy, the risk for strains, pulls and other injuries can be increased due to hormone relaxin. Due to the hormone, the uterus expands and the connective tissue are softens.
- Once you are in the second trimester, your center of gravity shifts so you can do any standing poses with your heel toward the wall or use a chair for support so you don’t lose your balance and risk injury.
- Don’t opt for Bikram or hot yoga as it is practiced in an overheated room. Overheating can be dangerous for your unborn baby.
- You should hinge from the hips when bending, leading with the breastbone. It allows more space for the ribs to move, making it easier to breathe.
- Maintain a neutral position of your pelvis during poses. It helps with the relaxation of your buttock muscles as well as reduces and prevents sciatic pain, which is a common side effect of pregnancy.
- When bending forward during seated position, you should place a towel or yoga strap behind your feet and hold both ends. You should bend from the hips and lift the chest so that you can avoid compressing your abdomen.
- When you are practicing twisting position, you should twist from the shoulders and back rather than the waist. Avoid putting pressure on your abdomen.
- Always listen to the cues of your body and as soon as you feel any discomfort, you should stop immediately. Modify your postures as your body changes. Ensure that you are practicing with a good instructor so that your yoga routine can be customized with the progress of your pregnancy.
Poses Suitable During Pregnancy
The poses that can be safely practiced during pregnancy include:
- Butterfly stretch
- Side Angle Pose
- Seated Forward Bend
- Standing Forward Bend
- Triangle Pose
Poses To Avoid During Pregnancy
The poses that should be avoided during pregnancy include:
- Balancing poses
- Upward Bow
Prenatal yoga can be rewarding and extremely beneficial as long as you do it safely and under a supervised instructor.