We can’t deny the huge benefits that we gain from yoga. It helps us to get better physical and mental health, relax our minds, improve flexibility and prepare ready for a busy day.
However, many people still wonder whether yoga practice is safe for expectant moms because it seems to require a lot of movements and stretchings of the whole body.
Perhaps you have already seen many pictures of pregnant women doing yoga spread on the internet or in advertisements, but is yoga safe during pregnancy?
The answer is YES, yoga is safe and even very beneficial during pregnancy if you make sure to take certain precautions.
Below are some outstanding advantages brought about by yoga for expectant moms:
1. Support changing body
Our body is always changing every single day. For pregnant women, the speed of change is even much faster than normal people. That’s why they need help adjusting and compensating to adapt to that process.
Prenatal yoga is designed to support the changes happening in a pregnant body. It offers women a healthy and safe way to stretch their muscles as well as strengthen and balance the whole body (especially the lower part) to serve the process of growing a belly.
2. Reduce stress
As we all know, women during their pregnancy period can be very hot-tempered and have various emotions at different moments.
While the husbands cannot understand them and usually assume that their wives’ characters have been changed, it is quite normal for expectant moms to get mood swings in any trimester of pregnancy.
Prenatal yoga has the ability to help you relax, calm down your mind and your body, and relieve physical and emotional stress through light exercises combined with a breathing practice. You will be able to prepare for not only the 9-month period but also labor and motherhood.
3. Promote connection with your baby
During the pregnancy period, you had better get out of your busy work and home life to take care of the bond between you and your growing baby by going to a prenatal yoga class at least once a week.
As your body is changing in fast-paced progress, every single response of the body to the yoga poses will show the physical changes happening.
Certain poses such as the Hero pose, where you sit down on your heels while straightening your back and spine can be significant when you inhale and exhale deeply.
4. Relieve negative complaints
Pregnant women usually experience many discomforts during the 9-month period like lower back pain, nausea, insomnia, headaches, shortness of breath, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
By exercising with prenatal yoga, you will improve the blood circulation in your body and provide the necessary oxygen for your baby and your muscles.
Then all of the above symptoms will be cured or relieved. Of course, not all of them will disappear together right away, but they will be treated gradually after a period of time.
5. Create opportunities to make friends with other like-minded mamas
This only happens when you go to a prenatal yoga class. Actually, if you have enough knowledge about all precautions while practicing the poses, you can try doing it at home by yourself.
But you are highly recommended to go to a class where you can ask for help or detailed directions from an instructor and more importantly, you will be able to communicate and make acquaintance with other expectant moms like you.
Many research has shown that sharing your pregnancy journey with new friends can reduce anxiety about your upcoming motherhood, ease your back pain and also calm the whole body.
Especially when your new friends are also experiencing the same lifestyle changes just like you, the discussion can be more interesting.
Perhaps through the above 5 benefits of prenatal yoga, you can somehow figure out the answer to the question “Is yoga safe during pregnancy?”
However, there are still several things that you need to take note
- Before starting with a prenatal yoga class, don’t forget to tell your instructor which trimester you are in.
- Don’t do any Asana poses after the first 3 months of your pregnancy because they can reduce the blood flow to the uterus.
- Try to avoid poses that require too much stretching, especially in the abdominal area.
- From the second trimester on, when the center of your body has a fast change in size, try practicing standing poses with your heel against the wall or use a chair to support your body. This will avoid losing balance and protect you from being injured.
- Don’t practice in an overheated room. It can negatively affect your baby.
- When doing twisting poses, don’t twist your waist area too much, twist more from the shoulders and back to reduce the pressure on the abdominal part. Go as far as you feel comfortable, deep twists are not encouraged in pregnancy.
- Don’t try to push yourself. If you feel uncomfortable in any pose, stop doing it. You will need to modify the pose and the movements based on the stage you’re in. A good instructor can help you do this and avoid injuries for you and your baby.
Following are some recommendations on which poses are good for expectant moms:
Normally, these poses are safe in pregnancy:
- Butterfly stretch
- Cobra (only in the first 3 months, if you feel comfortable doing this down-face pose)
- Seated forward bend (with the support of a towel or yoga strap)
- Side angle pose
- Standing forward bend (with a chair for support)
- Triangle pose (with chair)
And you should avoid the following poses:
- Keeping the balance on one leg
- Upward bow
Though the above knowledge is not too detailed it listed out at least the most important and basic things you need to know when practicing prenatal yoga.
Now you may have enough of the answer to the question “Is yoga safe during pregnancy”, you can go straight to a prenatal yoga class where you can discuss and practice with a professional instructor and other like-minded expectant moms.