The body goes through a tremendous amount of changes during pregnancy, and after 9 months, it might be hard to remember what you felt like pre-pregnancy. With all these changes, it’s important to make health a priority – not just for a healthy pregnancy but also for the strenuous marathon of childbirth and the postpartum period.
Many women want to stay active during their pregnancies but have questions regarding what types of exercises are safe. Each person is different, but yoga is a form of physical activity that is generally viewed as safe and beneficial during pregnancy.
If you’re pregnant and curious yoga, here are a few things you should know.
Yoga Prepares You for What’s Ahead
There are plenty of benefits of yoga for the average person. These include increased flexibility, stamina, and focused breathing. When you’re pregnant, these things become even more important. As you progress through your pregnancy, flexibility and strength will help lessen some of the common aches and pains. Plus, knowing how to breathe will help during labor.
Yoga also helps prepare you for life after baby arrives. There will be times when that little bundle of joy causes anxiety, stress, headaches and yes, lack of sleep. Regular yoga helps relieve all of these symptoms.
Honoring Your Body
A woman may be told that she should limit strenuous physical activity and doctors will often suggest yoga as an alternative. This is great advice, but it’s important to remember that yoga is still exercise and some forms can be quite strenuous.
If this is your introduction to yoga, start slow and don’t push yourself. A good beginner yoga class will focus mainly on breathing, stretching and a few basic poses. Your body becomes more flexible during pregnancy, but forcing yourself into difficult, uncomfortable and complex positions can still cause injury. Honor your body and ease yourself into a yoga routine.
Benefits of Yoga During Pregnancy
Yoga is beneficial for overall wellness. During pregnancy your body is hard at work performing an important job. While the process is amazing, there are also some downsides – like a compromised immune system, nausea, restless sleep and aches or pains in new places. Yoga can help ease common pregnancy complaints and provide benefits such as:
- Improved circulation
- Better sleep
- Increased strength and stamina
- Headache relief
- Decreased nausea
- Less back pain
- An immunity boost
Proceed with Caution
As with any form of physical exercise, pregnant women should use caution to risk harm to themselves of their baby. Yoga is considered gentle and safe, but there are still a few precautions to keep in mind.
For example, after the first trimester you should avoid positions where you are flat on your back as this can restrict blood flow to the baby. You’ll also want to avoid poses that challenge your center of gravity or are painful in any way. Likewise, hot yoga can elevate your body temperature above a safe level during pregnancy, so save the sweaty stuff for after baby arrives.
You should always speak to your doctor before starting a yoga practice while pregnant, and then choose a class or instructor that understands your unique needs. If you have questions about prenatal yoga, contact YogaCoreFit and let us answer your questions and direct you to the yoga classes that are safe and beneficial during pregnancy.