The Lowdown on Pregnancy Yoga
As far as pregnancy workouts go, yoga can be a great way to stay fit and limber, reduce some of your pregnancy aches and pains, and manage stress. Whether you already do yoga regularly or you're considering taking up the challenge for the first time, you might find yoga relaxing and enjoyable during pregnancy. Read on to find out more about why yoga is great for pregnant women and a few dos and don'ts.
What’s So Great About Yoga For Pregnant Women?
These are just some of the benefits of prenatal yoga:
Improves muscle tone and flexibility.
Helps relieve lower back pain and other pregnancy-related aches and pains.
Can reduce stress and anxiety.
Can increase confidence during childbirth by teaching you breathing and relaxation techniques.
Offers a chance to meet other mums-to-be at pregnancy yoga classes so you can swap experiences and build friendships.
Prenatal Yoga for Every Trimester
Before taking up yoga, check with your GP or midwife, and be sure to pick a specialised pregnancy yoga class with a qualified instructor. If you feel any discomfort, tell your instructor. Keep in mind: Every mum-to-be is different and if you don't feel up to certain poses, you don't need to do it!
Once you know your that you're pregnant, the next step is to check with your doctor before beginning or continuing to practice yoga. If you attend a regular yoga class, let your instructor know you are pregnant. Alternatively, you may want to attend a specialist prenatal yoga class led by a qualified instructor. At this stage, experts recommend that it's OK to keep up your normal physical activity for as long as you feel comfortable.
Be aware of your changing body and sense of balance. During this time, it's best to move more slowly. Follow the instructor's advice on how to adapt yoga poses to suit your growing belly. From 16 weeks of pregnancy onward, don't do any poses that require you to lie down on your back as this can cause dizziness.
Now is the time to really slow down. Check again with your doctor about whether practicing yoga is still safe for you and ask your instructor about what yoga poses to avoid at this stage of your pregnancy.
A Few Dos And Don’ts to Keep in Mind
Stay hydrated – drink plenty before, during and after.
Wear loose-fitting comfortable clothes.
Check with your doctor about whether yoga is safe for you during pregnancy and about whether there are any yoga poses to avoid.
Lie flat on your back after 16 weeks.
Overheat. Take plenty of breaks, and wear layers so you can cool down as needed.
Overdo it! If anything is uncomfortable, stop.
FAQs at a Glance
Which yoga is best during pregnancy?
It is probably best to stick to specialised pregnancy yoga classes so that each pose is tailored to what's safe for pregnant women.
Is it OK to do yoga in early pregnancy?
You can start prenatal yoga as early in pregnancy as you like. Perhaps you already do yoga. Just make sure your doctor gives you the all-clear.
What's prenatal yoga?
Prenatal yoga is a type of yoga specifically designed for pregnant women.
Now that you know a little more about prenatal yoga, it could be time for you to hit the mat. Enjoy the practice! And if you want a little more variety, read up on other forms of exercise during pregnancy or check out our article on pelvic floor exercises.
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