Prenatal Yoga Benefits
Prenatal yoga is a perfect fit for pregnancy. It helps prepare the body for birth and helps shorten then length of recovery time afterwards. Yoga will help likely ease your labor by strengthening and stretching the muscles.
Exercise is recommended throughout pregnancy. But with the risk of injury and overexertion, it can be hard to know which form of aerobic exercise to choose. One excellent option is prenatal yoga or pregnancy yoga. Pregnancy yoga is a form of yoga that has been adapted for the physiology of the pregnant woman, to fit the needs of mother and baby. Some pregnancy yoga poses are adapted according to the stage of the pregnancy. For example, during the second and third trimesters, many prenatal adaptations are designed to prevent compression of the uterus and avoid the baby from being squished.
Pregnancy yoga can help with back pain, boost your energy level, and prevent excess weight gain. As it improves flexibility, lowers stress and improves core strength, it is good for both mother and baby.
Pregnancy yoga practice keeps you limber, tones your muscles, and improves your balance and circulation, with little, if any, impact on your joints.
Pregnancy yoga is also beneficial because it includes breathing and relaxing techniques, which will come in handy as you face the challenges of labor, birth, and motherhood.
Prenatal yoga practice trains you to stay calm when you need it most. When you’re in pain or afraid, your body produces adrenalin and may produce less oxytocin, a hormone that stimulates the contractions of muscles during labor. While you need this hormone to push the baby out, it’s also important to stay loose and relaxed. A regular yoga practice will help you fight the urge to tighten up when you feel pain, and show you how to relax instead.
Yoga helps the body deal with stress by slowing heart and breathing rates and lowering blood pressure — which can benefit new moms too.
Taking a prenatal yoga class is a great way to meet other pregnant women. Being in a positive, supportive environment with others like you can give you a regular emotional boost and keep you motivated to continue exercising.
WHAT TO EXPECT AT A PRENATAL YOGA CLASS
When you are taking your first pregnancy yoga class tell your prenatal teacher about your pregnancy: You may not feel comfortable discussing your pregnancy with many people in the first trimester. But it is important to tell any prenatal teacher that you are pregnant so they can assist you with modifications to the poses and postures that might be necessary. Ask the prenatal teacher to be discreet if you are not yet ready to go public.
Bring water. It’s important to stay hydrated and cool when exercising.
Go Slow. Don’t go too deep into the poses, at least at first. During pregnancy, the body produces a hormone throughout pregnancy called relaxin, which is intended to soften your bones and ligaments to make room for the baby to grow and develop. This softening of the ligaments can make them vulnerable to over stretching.
Use the bathroom when you need to. As you progress in the pregnancy, the uterus will press on the bladder and you will need to relieve yourself more often. While some may find it embarrassing to have to leave the pregnancy yoga class to go to the bathroom, it’s essential that you do for your own health and the health of the baby.
Listen to your body and don’t do anything that causes pain, tightness, dizziness, or shortness of breath. If you become uncomfortable stop what you’re doing immediately and ask the prenatal teacher for a modification, or just sit on your mat, sip water, and wait for the next pose.
Don’t be afraid to ask the prenatal teacher questions. Ask as many questions as you want in order to feel comfortable and confident. The other pregnant women in the room will appreciate the info as well.