What Is Prenatal Yoga
Many people don’t understand the main difference between regular and prenatal yoga and how it can benefit someone who is pregnant. If you did yoga before you got pregnant, chances are, you would like to continue doing it because you understand how much your body and mind can benefit from it.
This doesn’t mean that you can get away with every pose though. You need to modify them to avoid injury and to ensure your baby’s safety.
Prenatal yoga poses are meant to prepare your body for childbirth and help relieve pain and discomfort associated with pregnancy.
Benefits of Prenatal Yoga
Doing yoga exercises offers a number of benefits for pregnant women such as reduced nausea, dizziness and headaches. You will also find that yoga is great for improving sleep and in helping you achieve a calm state.
The meditation and breathing techniques can help lower the risk of preterm labor, hypertension and high blood pressure. It can also help improve strength, flexibility and balance.
Yoga has been used by a lot of women to prepare their body for labor and childbirth.
What Occurs During Prenatal Yoga?
Your prenatal yoga class will consist of four main segments; breathing exercises, stretching, postures, and cool down & relaxation time. The first segment focuses mainly on your breathing.
The techniques used will condition your body so you can effectively manage pain. The stretching part of the class makes use of gentle and slow stretches. These will noticeably improve your balance and posture while sitting or standing.
The last part which is the cool down and relaxation stage; allows you to go back to your normal heart rate.
Yoga Exercises You Should Avoid During Pregnancy
Yoga has countless benefits on pregnant women but you must do everything with caution by knowing what sorts of poses are allowed for your condition. The best choices for someone who’s pregnant are prenatal yoga (obviously) and hatha yoga.
These types of yoga exercises are low-impact and gentle. You have to avoid more intense or advanced styles such as hot/Bikram, power yoga and Ashtanga yoga because they can be a little strenuous to your growing belly.
Before starting with prenatal yoga, make sure you consult your doctor. They know whether it’s a good option for you or not. Set realistic goals and start slowly especially if you have never done yoga before.
Give yourself some time to get used to the poses. Avoid poses that involve bending, twisting, jerking or jumping.
Prenatal Yoga Video Class
Tips on Choosing Classes
The first thing that you have to do when checking in a yoga class is make sure that it is labeled pregnancy or prenatal yoga. The poses and techniques are especially geared towards pregnant woman.
These exercises are appropriate for all stages of pregnancy. Keep in mind that some poses are tailored to how far along you are.
The poses you do during the first trimester may be slightly different from those that you will perform on your third trimester.
Some poses may need to be modified though or avoided altogether.
Talk to an expert so you’ll know which yoga exercises are right for you and your growing belly.
Pregnancy yoga, combines proper breathing with yoga poses which can help decrease a woman’s discomfort while pregnant. Doing yoga exercises is extremely helpful with each trimester.
It would be better to start off early but it doesn’t mean that you can’t benefit from it if you start at the latter part of your pregnancy.
It really doesn’t matter if you are already in your second or third trimester; it’s never too late to start.
Prenatal Yoga has a wide range of benefits and these include improving your posture, strength and flexibility. It also helps improve your sleep, mental health and reduce anxiety. Learning different breathing and relaxation techniques can tremendously help in managing pain during labor and in opening up your hips for childbirth.
Yoga can also strengthen your muscles, relieve aches associated with pregnancy (back and leg pain), reduce nausea and headaches, decrease the risk of early delivery and help you relax during the process of childbirth.
First Trimester Benefits
During the first trimester, doing yoga and practicing correct breathing will help relieve some of the discomfort and pain you are experiencing.
You’d be able to manage your nausea a lot better, reduce headaches, alleviate pain in your lower back, uterus and wrists (from carpal tunnel syndrome) and improve the development of your unborn child.
Pregnancy yoga during the first trimester can also help you to relieve the stress you’re feeling during this stage.
Second Trimester Benefits
Your joints are starting to loosen up now and you are slowly expanding your girth which means that your balance will be a little off. To avoid injury, make sure you don’t hold poses for a long time and don’t forget to drop into yoga positions slowly.
Doing yoga during the second trimester will help relieve leg and back cramps, headaches, fatigue and constipation. You will definitely get the most benefits from yoga during this stage of your pregnancy.
This is also the best time to condition your body and get it ready for childbirth. Start practicing your breathing and meditation techniques. It wouldn’t hurt to strengthen your muscles at this point.
Avoid lying on your back or belly to keep your blood circulation in check.
The best prenatal yoga poses you can do during this trimester are the triangle, pigeon and child’s pose.
Third Trimester Benefits
Your belly is a lot bigger now and this means you can only do so much. You can perform standing poses with your heel to the wall but if you find this to be stressful on your body, you can use a chair for support.
Doing yoga exercises on your last trimester will provide you the same benefits as the first two stages of pregnancy but this time, you are giving more emphasis on preparing your mind and body for childbirth.
The poses will help open up your hips and pelvis, strengthen your shoulder and back muscles, relax your tight muscles, relieve anxiety and coax the baby to move so that their head is pointing down.
Many of the prenatal yoga poses you learn during the third trimester can also be done during labor to help alleviate tension and allow your body to relax.