If you’re expecting a baby and wondering how to relax or stay in shape, one of the best options is starting yoga. Is yoga good during pregnancy? Yes, generally it is good, and a lot of healthcare providers recommend it to pregnant women. It’s one of the best prenatal exercises to help you prepare yourself physically for labor, childbirth and motherhood.
However, there are certain safety guidelines and restrictions when it comes to taking up yoga while pregnant. And there are definitely some yoga exercises to avoid during pregnancy. For you to reap the most benefit from your yoga class, you will need to learn in more detail about the benefits of prenatal yoga, its exercise patterns and safety tips.
Let’s start with how good yoga is for pregnant women (if practiced correctly):
- yoga strengthens your body and helps you relieve some pregnancy discomforts
- it calms both your mind and body making you sleep like a baby at night
- improves your mood and helps you balance your psychological health
- eases lower back pain
- staves off morning sickness
- reduces the risk of premature labor
At your prenatal yoga class you will practice various breathing techniques, low impact stretching, meditation and relaxation exercises. Prenatal yoga is good for pregnant women because it helps you meet and stay in touch with other expectant mothers. By communicating with other moms-to-be, you will prepare for motherhood more easily and naturally.
Some safety guidelines to follow while practicing yoga during pregnancy:
- check with your doctor before you start prenatal yoga classes
- avoid pushing yourself too hard
- drink a lot of water during prenatal yoga
- exercise in a well-ventilated room to prevent overheating
- from the 2nd trimester on use a chair to do any standing poses or press your heel to the wall: this way you will minimize the risk of losing balance and falling
- listen to your body: stop immediately if you feel any discomforts
There are yoga styles to avoid during pregnancy. For example, Bikram (or ‘hot’) yoga and ashtanga are too strenuous for moms-to-be. The best options for pregnant women are prenatal yoga and hatha yoga. If you’ve signed up to a regular yoga class, let the instructor know about your pregnancy and which trimester you’re in. A good instructor will help you modify each pose to work for your changing body.