Do you want to feel more relaxed and be prepared for childbirth? Here are insights on when, why, and how to try prenatal yoga for the same.
What is prenatal yoga and why is it necessary?
Similar to the other childbirth preparations, prenatal is yoga is a multifaceted approach to exercise promoting modified stretching, mind-body relaxation, mental calming practices, focused breathing and poses aiding in pain endurance capacity. It helps alleviate the pregnancy symptoms like constipation, swelling, fluid retention, back pain, bloating, and fatigue. It enhances mood and improves sleep.
How prenatal yoga is different from regular exercise/yoga?
Common positions in regular yoga-like intense forward or backward stretches, requiring feet to be stretched far apart, etc can be too stressful for the joints and pelvic area of a pregnant lady. As the pregnancy reaches advanced stages and the baby bump starts growing bigger each day, there is a lot of weight putting pressure on the uterus and bladder, pushing them down. Additionally, hormones loosen the ligaments, muscles, and joints are weak, causing spinal discomfort. All these factors need modifications in the regular yoga poses to adapt to the changing body requirements. Prenatal yoga introduces you to these modifications, stretching and strengthening alterations, emphasizes focused breathing preparations.
When can you start your prenatal yoga sessions?
You don’t need to be a yogi to join the prenatal yoga class, though it is always good to start it early in your pregnancy for maximum benefits. You can even start with yoga even before getting pregnant at the conceiving stage to have a healthy pregnancy and baby. A good prenatal yoga offers the yoga sequences and is most accommodating to the current pregnancy stage-specific to each trimester. But always consult your medical advisor and an expert prenatal care specialist before starting as a safety measure.
Benefits of prenatal yoga –
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 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 experiences during the pregnancy.
- It promotes a connection with your baby
- It takes care of the overall health of the mother and child.
- It keeps the body active, stabilizes your mood, and helps with mental centering.
Safety guidelines to be followed while performing 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. Always ask your yoga instructor about the safety of the yoga pose.
Hydration is the key
Drink enough water. It not only prevents hot flashes but also keeps your body temperature balanced which usually tends to be on the higher side during pregnancy causing heartburn, excess sweating. It is also quite helpful in flushing out all the toxins from the body helping in the internal cleansing of the body.
Protect your back
Avoid exercises, especially after the first trimester requiring you to lie flat on your back. This can put pressure on the major veins bringing blood to your heart, due to the baby’s growing weight. It can also interfere with blood circulation making you feel dizzy. Also, be careful with the intense back stretching or back bending poses. Take help of the props like straps, blankets, blocks for the same.
Don’t opt for hot yoga
Never go for hot yoga or other exercises requiring you to face extreme heat. Due to exposure to excessive heat one can feel nauseous and dizzy. It also causes neural tube defects. Practice yoga indoors only in a well-ventilated room avoiding too much sun exposure. Don’t opt for asanas and practices that generate heat in the body. Always keep hydrated by carrying a bottle of water or fresh juice with you.
Make sure there is no pressure on the abdomen
Avoid deep abdominal work, twists & backbends too that put pressure on the abdomen. If you are uncomfortable then skip the pose entirely. Skip the poses putting pressure on your pelvis, always focus on the fact that your center of gravity keeps on shifting with the increasing belly and modify the pose accordingly.
For more such prenatal yoga asanas, poses and practices read our article Pregnancy yoga: 11 Highly beneficial poses for each trimester.