What is pregnancy yoga?
Pregnancy yoga is a style of yoga designed for pregnant women to perform and practice, regardless of their due date. This involves a mixture of stretching, breathing, and mental focus and offers various benefits to expectant mothers. It can also increase flexibility and strength in the muscles used during childbirth.
Is yoga safe for pregnant women?
Yoga is a gentle exercise that can be used during the various stages of pregnancy. It can be used as a tool to maintain the fitness of the pregnant mothers. When stretching or yoga is performed, the body’s muscles are being toned and gain flexibility without placing any strain on the joints. Also, it is useful because it teaches the mother on how to breathe and relax.
The following basic safety guidelines should be followed to protect the mother’s health and her child during pregnancy yoga:
- Make sure to have the health care provider’s approval before starting a pregnancy yoga program. This is to ensure that the mother is not at an increased risk of preterm labor or have medical conditions like back problems or heart disease.
- It is recommended to have at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity at least five days per week. However, even shorter and less frequent workouts can still help the mother to stay in shape and prepare for labor.
- It is important to pace the workout properly and to push yourself too hard.
- Practice yoga in a well-ventilated room to avoid overheating. In addition, drink plenty of fluids to keep hydrated.
- Avoid certain postures like lying on the back or belly, doing deep backward or forward bends, or doing twist poses as they can put pressure on the abdomen. As the pregnancy progresses, the use of props can help accommodate the changes in the center of gravity. Ask the instructor if a certain pose is safe.
- Always pay close attention to your body. Don’t overdo the workout. Start slow and avoid the positions that are beyond your level of comfort or experience. If any pain is experienced during the yoga session, stop immediately and contact the health care provider.
Benefits of pregnancy yoga
Similar to childbirth preparation classes, pregnancy yoga is a multifaceted approach to exercise as it encourages stretching, mental centering, and more focused breathing. Research suggests that yoga during pregnancy is safe and can have several benefits to pregnant women and their babies.
The following are some benefits of pregnancy yoga:
- Increases energy levels
- Improves sleep
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Reduces physical and emotional stress
- Increases confidence
- Reduces fatigue
- Increases strength, flexibility, and endurance of the muscles used during childbirth
- Decreased lower back pain, headaches, nausea, and shortness of breath
- Improves body posture, stability, and balance
- Creates optimal health levels during pregnancy
- Encourages a generally positive childbirth experience
Safe yoga poses for pregnant women
Then following yoga poses are safe to practice during pregnancy and can help in alleviating discomfort and promoting relaxation:
- Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)
- Sukhasana (Easy Pose)
- Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)
- Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II Pose)
- Janu Sirsasana (Head-to-Knee Forward Bend )
- Padmasana (Lotus Pose)