Yoga during pregnancy is a safe means of keeping toned and supple without strain and connects you with the new life growing inside you.
This is one of the best exercises you can enjoy on a regular basis while pregnant, as it's gentle and helps you relax. Yoga during pregnancy is different from regular yoga that you may have done prior to your pregnancy.
It's much more gentle and subtle and often incorporates several schools of yoga into the exercises. So don't be put off if you have only ever been to strenuous, hard yoga classes in the past. Give it a go and maybe try a few different classes until you find the one that suits you best.
The Sanskrit word yoga is translated as 'union' between mind, body and spirit. This is a time when you certainly benefit from time spent connecting with your body and your baby.
Yoga during pregnancy is a great way to connect with your growing baby and also meet other expectant moms. It's also fun to do together with your baby once he or she has arrived.
Some pregnancy yoga teachers make a point of having a ‘tea break’ afterwards for prenatal moms to get to know each other and share pregnancy experiences and birth stories. Connections you make here could become valuable long-term friends.
If you have any pregnant friends, encourage them to join you in attending a local class.
When To Start Yoga During Pregnancy:
Some people advice starting yoga after 16 weeks, but if you are used to practicing yoga, just carry on but be careful to avoid the postures listed below. Tell your yoga teacher you are pregnant. Even better, seek advice from a qualified Yoga teacher with a specialization in Pregnancy Yoga.
Good Reasons To Practice Yoga During Pregnancy:
•Simple breathing techniques are taught to develop breath awareness and aid relaxation; really useful for labor!
•Deep breathing is good for oxygenating your body and getting a good supply to your baby.
•It gives you some precious ‘Me’ time that you may not get otherwise. Some women find that they notice their babies becoming more active when they are doing their yoga.
•Helps to open up your pelvis ready for the birth.
•Helps to keep your posture upright and minimize back pain during pregnancy and other aches and pains.
•Strengthens your inner core and aids balance.
•Strengthens and limbers you up for labor.
Some of the poses to avoid:
•Any pose that over stretches your hips can exacerbate symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD), so avoid it this if you are suffering with SPD.
•Any position, which feels uncomfortable, should be avoided.
•Deep inversions need to be avoided.
•Lying on your front will become difficult early on in pregnancy, eg. Cobra pose.
•Strong back bends are to be avoided, as are postures that involve using the stomach muscles strongly, such as supine leg rising.
•Bikram/Hot Yoga should be avoided, as any rise in core body temperature will increase your internal temperature even more, this is not good for the growing baby and can potentially cause miscarriage or premature labor. Your baby is deep inside and so is at a temperature a few degrees warmer than your external temperature.
•Your yoga instructor will advise on other poses that are best avoided.
Always check that the yoga teacher is accredited to teach pregnancy yoga.
Remember: breathe, relax, connect with your unborn child and keep your posture good. This is a special time to think and give yourself permission to just ‘Be’…..you and your baby together. Nothing else matters for this period of time that is yoga time.
Enjoy your natural pregnancy!
Want to find out more about which exercises to do while you're expecting? Read more about Pregnancy Exercise.