What can prenatal yoga do for you?
During pregnancy, you want to stay in shape and do what is best for you and your baby. Prenatal yoga is a wonderful way to do both. In our go-go-go world, yoga offers a much-needed opportunity to slow down and connect with your baby and her body as she transforms. Whether you are new to yoga or an experienced practitioner, you can enjoy the many benefits of yoga during pregnancy.
When you're pregnant, it can sometimes feel like an alien has taken over your body. All the things you thought you knew about yourself go out the window when your body does its amazing job. Changes that are out of your control can make you feel disconnected from your sense of self.
In yoga, it is said that your body is different every time you step on the mat. You work to accept that change is constant. In pregnancy, this is doubly true. Yoga helps you reconnect with your body and embrace your journey.
Prenatal yoga classes help you prepare for the birthing process and allow you to enjoy the company of other pregnant women. This promotes a valuable sense of community. Many new support systems for mothers and playgroups for babies have emerged from the bonds forged in prenatal yoga.
Yoga during pregnancy has not received many scientific studies, but it is generally considered safe and beneficial for most pregnant women and their babies.
If your pregnancy is considered high risk or if you have other complications, talk to your healthcare team before starting yoga. Even if you have no special concerns, you will need to adapt your yoga practice as your baby grows.
Your body produces a hormone called relaxin during pregnancy that helps make room for the growing baby and prepare for delivery. The presence of relaxin can make you feel more flexible than normal, but be careful not to overstretch. It is also possible to destabilize joints and ligaments during this time.
The greatest danger for pregnant yoginis is falling. Therefore, minimize this risk, especially when your belly begins to protrude, be careful with the balancing postures. Ignore any pranayama that may make you feel dizzy to reduce the risk of fainting.
As Bikram Yoga has been shown to warm the core body temperature in certain cases, it should also be avoided.
For first trimester yoga, postural changes are minimal because the size of your belly is not yet an issue. The most important thing is to get in the habit of tuning in to our bodies. You may feel tired and nauseous, so allow yourself to take it easy if that's the case.
Most women who are already taking yoga classes can continue with their usual routines, although it is a good idea to mention your pregnancy to your teacher. If this is your first time practicing yoga, you can start with a prenatal class.
Yoga in the second trimester
The second trimester is the ideal time to start prenatal yoga. You've probably gotten over the worst morning sickness if you've ever had it. Your tummy is starting to show, so you need more pregnancy-specific poses and tips.
As the uterus expands, it is time to stop doing any position where you are lying on your stomach. Also, avoid deep turns, which are not very comfortable at this point.
Yoga in the third trimester
In third trimester yoga, your belly becomes a major factor, causing more adaptations to make room for you in standing poses.
Taking a wider stance makes you more stable, which is helpful because you want to avoid anything that could cause you to fall. For this reason, inversions are discouraged at this point in the pregnancy.
A 2015 survey was the first to monitor the fetus while performing yoga poses in the third trimester. He found no evidence of fetal distress in any of the 26 poses he tried, including downward-facing dog and savasana.3 However, these poses can be uncomfortable at some point and are good to avoid.
If you are new to yoga
Many women who have never done yoga before find it to be an ideal form of exercise during pregnancy and beyond. When looking for a class, opt for those labeled "prenatal yoga" as your teachers will be in a better position to instruct you properly.
If you attend a regular class, be sure to tell the teacher that she is pregnant. Some women only have the opportunity to do prenatal yoga in the third trimester. You will still benefit from the classes if that is your situation, but the sooner you get pregnant the better.
If you have experience with yoga
Yoga devotees will be happy to know that they can continue to practice during pregnancy. You can continue to take your regular classes as long as you feel comfortable, but again be sure to inform the teacher that she is pregnant. Never feel compelled to practice as hard as you did before your pregnancy.
If you are a dedicated home practitioner, start doing prenatal sun salutations. Study the guidelines from the previous quarters to make sure you understand what poses to avoid. It is also a good idea to take some prenatal yoga classes to meet other pregnant women and learn about childbirth.
We hope you enjoy watching this video about the benefits of prenatal yoga
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