Prenatal yoga: All you need to know!

Prenatal yoga is the best way to prepare for a childbirth. It ensures the good health of child & mother, less complications and reduced symptoms like nausea, headache, swelling, and increased endurance for labor pain.

When should you start prenatal yoga?

You can start attending prenatal yoga classes as early in your pregnancy as possible. Sooner you start the more beneficial it will prove. But, always consult your doctor and start practicing yoga as per your doctor’s advice and your health condition. The yoga practices are usually customized according to the stages or the trimesters of the pregnancy, so it is always advised to join the pregnancy yoga classes having highly qualified yoga instructors.

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How often should you do prenatal yoga?

Most yoga experts recommend to practice yoga daily. But if time is constraint or you are new to yoga, then try to do it at least 3-4 times a week. You can perform the therapeutic stretches, moving and bending the spine, muscles, joints, breath in & breath out exercises as long as up to 1 hour. After the second trimester it can be reduced in duration and frequency according to your capacity.

What are the benefits of prenatal yoga?

Prenatal yoga has a multifaceted approach towards your physical and mental health improvement. It encourages stretching, focused breathing, mental soothing, physical & emotional endurance, and induces required flexibility for the smooth delivery. Prenatal yoga is proven to have many health benefits for the mother and the unborn child-

  • It improves the quality of sleep ensuring that the pregnant lady gets ample of rest.
  • It reduces stress and anxiety to a great extent.
  • It increases the muscle strength, flexibility and endurance of muscle required for childbirth.
  • It is highly beneficial in reducing the pregnancy symptoms like nausea, lower back pain, headaches, and shortness of breath.
  • It reduces the extent of hot flashes one experience during the pregnancy.
  • It promotes a connection with your baby
  • It takes care of the overall health of the mother and child.
  • It keeps body active, stabilizes your mood, and helps with mental centering.
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Precautions to be taken during prenatal yoga

To protect your and your child’s health always consult your health provider before joining pregnancy yoga classes. Don’t rush while practicing any yoga asana, take your time, don’t over exhaust yourself. Choose a well-ventilated place for the practice to avoid overheating. Drink plenty of fluids, always stay hydrated. Avoid doing deep forward or back bends, belly lying poses, avoid putting pressure on your abdomen. Modify the twisting poses accordingly, use props to balance your center of gravity. Always ask your yoga instructor about the safety of the yoga pose.

Common Prenatal yoga poses-

Cat-Cow pose

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The cat-Cow pose is a wonderful pose for future moms. Most women will encounter back pains at some point in their pregnancy. But gently practicing and transitioning between cow and cat pose will expand the spine, along with warming it. This helps you to get your sore spine back on the track. They also help to shift the load of the baby from the spine, supplying you with some much-needed relief.

Garland pose

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If there’s one yoga pose that’s almost practiced in every prenatal yoga program, it’s Malasana (also referred to as Garland Pose or a yoga squat). Squats during pregnancy provide quite amazing stretch to the groin area, opening the hips, and beginning to make space down there for a baby to form his grand exit. Try to do the pose putting a blog under your seating bones for extra support.

Butterfly pose

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Butterfly pose has tons of advantages, especially for pregnant women. It also can be used as a meditative pose and, thus, helps in relieving stress, through physical and mental relaxation. This asana boosts your metabolic rate, thereby giving pregnant women relief from heartburns and digestive problems during pregnancy. It also stretches and exposes the hips, thighs, and pelvic muscles, which help in having a simple, normal delivery.

Extended side angle pose

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Pregnant women most of the time feel sluggish. Try the extended side angle pose when you feel low on energy. It requires strong legs and works to open up the hips — away needed stretch if you’re sitting at a desk all day. Extending the upper arm above the top at an angle works the entire side body from fingertips to the extended back leg. If you reach for it, you would possibly find you’ve got more energy than you think.

For more such prenatal yoga asanas, poses and practices read our article Pregnancy yoga: 11 Highly beneficial poses for each trimester.

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